Taxanes

These medicines are active in the M-Phase.  In the nucleus of the dividing cell they bind to the microtubules and stop reproduction.  Some scientists call these “cytoskeletal disruptors”.  The name taxane comes from taxus, which is a genus of tree (the yew trees).  Three taxanes are approved in the US for cancer treatment; others are being investigated.

Paclitaxel

Brand/Trade Names: Taxol, Abraxane

Formula: C47H51NO14

Mechanism: Mitotic Inhibitor

Class: Taxane

Administration: Intraveneous

Notes: First discovered in the bark of the Pacific Yew tree.  Now made by biotechnology.  One of the most famous chemo drugs.  Often paired with other medicines as part of combination chemotherapy.

Paclitaxel molecule, from National Cancer Institute

 

Docetaxel

Brand/Trade Names: Taxotere

Formula: C43H53NO14

Mechanism: Mitotic Inhibitor

Class: Taxane

Administration: Intraveneous

Notes: Similar to paclitaxel

Cabazitaxel

Brand/Trade Names: Jevtana

Formula: C45H57NO14

Mechanism: Anti-microtubule agent

Class: Taxane

Administration: Intraveneous

Notes: