Thursday, October 31, 2013

Taxol



Taxol is a natural product that is used in cancer treatment. It's generic name is Paclitaxel. It is used as a chemotherapy drug and it is labelled as a "plant alkaloid." It has been used to treat many cancers including breast, ovarian, lung, bladder, prostate, melanoma, and esophageal cancers. It is often used against cancers that have a solid tumor. Taxol gives rise to many of the usual side effects that accompany chemotherapy. 

Taxol is a plant alkaloid which is made up of two parts, vinca alkaloids and taxanes. The vinca alkaloids are made from the periwinkle plant and the taxanes are derived from the bark of the Pacific Yew tree. This became an environmental concern because the trees have to be destroyed in order to manufacture the compound.  It interferes with cell division by affecting the decomposition of microtubules.

I decided to pick Taxol for this entry because I feel that all cancer research is relevant to chemistry and our lives. 




Sources:
 http://chemocare.com/chemotherapy/drug-info/Taxol.aspx#.UnL_SRDli8A
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Paclitaxel

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