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How was Taxol discovered?

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November 07, 2007 5:37AM

Taxol belongs to a class of chemotherapy drugs called plant alkaloids. Plant alkaloids are made from plants. The vinca alkaloids are made from the periwinkle plant (catharanthus rosea). The taxanes are made from the bark of the Pacific Yew tree (taxus). The vinca alkaloids and taxanes are also known as antimicrotubule agents. The podophyllotoxins are derived from the May Apple plant. Camptothecan analogs are derived from the Asian "Happy Tree" (Camptotheca acuminata). Podophyllotoxins and camptothecan analogs are also known as topoisomerase inhibitors. The plant alkaloids are cell-cycle specific. This means they attack the cells during various phases of division. * Vinca alkaloids: Vincristine, Vinblastine and Vinorelbine. * Taxanes: Taxol and Docetaxel. * Podophyllotoxins: Etoposide and Tenisopide. * Camptothecan analogs: Irinotecan and Topotecan. Antimicrotubule agents (such as Taxol), inhibit the microtubule structures within the cell. Microtubules are part of the cell's apparatus for dividing and replicating itself. Inhibition of these structures ultimately results in cell death. I hope this helps

Please understand that drugs are "discovered" every minute and go through many levels of testing and departments of our great "laws for processes" in order to be introduced to the medical world. It is possible that the drug companies will not release any further information then the above facts in order to protect the creative employee or other persons involved in its creation.