Paclitaxel is a type of chemotherapy called a taxane. Taxanes interfere with structures in a cell called microtubules that help move chromosomes during mitosis (cell division). Paclitaxel stops the growth of cancer cells and other dividing cells by blocking cell division.
Use in Cancer
Paclitaxel is approved to be used alone or with other drugs to treat:
- AIDS-related Kaposi sarcoma. It is used as second-line therapy.
- Breast cancer. It is used:
- Non-small cell lung cancer. It is used with cisplatin as first-line therapy in patients whose cancer cannot be treated with surgery or radiation therapy.
- Ovarian cancer that is advanced. It is used with cisplatin as first-line therapy or alone in patients who have already received other treatment.
Paclitaxel is also being studied in the treatment of other types of cancer.
Paclitaxel is also available in a different form called paclitaxel albumin-stabilized nanoparticle formulation. For more information, see the Drug Information Summary for Paclitaxel Albumin-stabilized Nanoparticle Formulation.
More About Paclitaxel
Definition from the NCI Drug Dictionary - Detailed scientific definition and other names for this drug.
MedlinePlus Information on Paclitaxel - A lay language summary of important information about this drug that may include the following:
- warnings about this drug,
- what this drug is used for and how it is used,
- what you should tell your doctor before using this drug,
- what you should know about this drug before using it,
- other drugs that may interact with this drug, and
- possible side effects.
Drugs are often studied to find out if they can help treat or prevent conditions other than the ones they are approved for. This patient information sheet applies only to approved uses of the drug. However, much of the information may also apply to unapproved uses that are being studied.
Clinical Trials Accepting Patients
Find Clinical Trials for Paclitaxel - Check for trials from NCI's list of cancer clinical trials now accepting patients.