Nano-sized drug delivery platforms for taxane antineoplastic agents

Authors: D. Momekova, G. Momekov, N. Lambov,

Abstract. The prototype taxane antineoplastic agent paclitaxel, was first isolated from the bark of the Western yew tree in 1971. It and its congener, the semisynthetic derivative docetaxel, display unique pharmacodynamics as mitotic spindle poisons, differing from the vinca alkaloids and colchicine derivatives in that they bind to a distinct site on β-tubulin and promote rather than inhibit microtubule self-assembly. These drugs are essential for the contemporary chemotherapy of breast cancer and a variety of other solid malignancies such as ovarian, lung, esophageal, bladder, and head and neck cancers. Both drugs however suffer from unfavorable pharmaceutical peculiarities, necessitating their dissolution in surfactant containing vehicles prior to infusion, which in turn lead to hypersensitivity reactions. These problems have fuelled much research interest towards the design and development of nano-sized, targeted drug delivery platforms based on nanoparticles, liposomes and so on. These advanced nanopharmaceutical carriers for targeted delivery of taxanes are briefly outlined in the presented review.

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