Taxol is a drug used to treat breast cancer, ovarian cancer, and AIDS-related Kaposi sarcoma. It is also used together with another drug to treat non-small cell lung cancer. Taxol is also being studied in the treatment of other types of cancer. It blocks cell growth by stopping cell division and may kill cancer cells. It is a type of antimitotic agent. Also called paclitaxel.
The approval is based on study results which showed that for women with HER2-positive breast cancer, the combination of Herceptin and Taxotere significantly improved median life expectancy by more than one-third (31 months with Herceptin plus Taxotere vs. 22 months for Taxotere alone).
Paclitaxel, a natural compound from yew trees, is the world's best-selling anticancer drug. Several analogs are in clinical trial, with others in preclinical development. One problem that paclitaxel and all its analogs share, however, is that they are all highly complex compounds, and cannot be prepared synthetically in a commercially viable way.
Investigational drug Abraxane™ (albumin nanoparticle paclitaxel), administered weekly without steroid premedication, is active and well tolerated in women with metastatic breast cancer whose disease had progressed while they were treated with paclitaxel (Taxol®) and/or docetaxel (Taxotere®).