Taxanes

Paclitaxel (Pacific yew Taxus brevifolia)
Docetaxel (semisynthesised from European yew Taxus baccata)

Indications

Breast cancer: anthracycline resistant cancer. (NICE May 2000)
Ovarian cancer: taxane + platinum is 1st line treatment post surgery.

Mechanism

Binds tubulin→prevents mitosis.

Adverse effects

Hypersensitivity (premedicate with corticosteroid, antihistamine, H2-blocker). Myelosuppression, peripheral neuropathy, alopecia, muscle pain.

Cost

1500 per cycle. Each patient receives 6 cycles on average.