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J Clin Oncol. 2004 May 15;22(10):2015-25.

Epothilones: mechanism of action and biologic activity.

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Department of Medicine, University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey/Robert Wood Johnson Medical School, New Brunswick, USA.


Drugs that target microtubules are among the most commonly prescribed anticancer therapies. Although the mechanisms by which perturbation of microtubule function leads to selective death of cancer cells remain unclear, several new microtubule-targeting compounds are undergoing clinical testing. In part, these efforts focus on overcoming some of the problems associated with taxane-based therapies, including formulation and administration difficulties and susceptibility to resistance conferred by P-glycoprotein. Epothilones have emerged from these efforts as a promising new class of anticancer drugs. Preclinical studies indicate that epothilones bind to and stabilize microtubules in a manner similar but not identical to that of paclitaxel and that epothilones are effective in paclitaxel-resistant tumor models. Clinical phase I and early phase II data are available for BMS-247550, BMS-310705, EPO906, and KOS-862. The results suggest that these compounds have a broad range of antitumor activity at doses and schedules associated with tolerable side effects.

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