Taxanes belong to a new group of antineoplastic agents with a novel mechanism of action for a cytotoxic drug. They promote microtubule assembly and stabilize the microtubules. Paclitaxel, the first agent in this group to become available, was isolated from the Pacific yew, Taxus brevifolia, in 1971. In preclinical and clinical studies, paclitaxel and its semisynthetic analog docetaxel exhibit significant antitumor activity. This review deals with the physicochemical properties, pharmacology, and results of preclinical and clinical trials of the taxanes.
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