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Curr Med Chem. 2007;14(28):2959-67.

Microtubule-stabilizing natural products as promising cancer therapeutics.

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Alantos Pharmaceuticals, Inc., Cambridge, MA 02139, USA.


Paclitaxel and related taxanes exhibit their anticancer activity by promoting tubulin polymerization and stabilizing microtubules, which results in mitotic G2/M arrest and apoptosis. The clinical success of paclitaxel in treating a wide array of tumor types has led to numerous efforts to identify novel natural products with paclitaxel-like mechanisms of action, but which may overcome some of the liabilities of the taxanes. Although the list of natural products that share the paclitaxel-like mechanism is relatively small, it continues to expand and currently includes a number of structurally distinct classes. Despite the mechanistic similarities between these classes, differences exist which may translate into their differential efficacy in the clinic. The past several years have seen a considerable amount of pre-clinical and clinical progress in developing these novel microtubule-stabilizing natural products as cancer therapeutics. This review focuses primarily on recent advances published since 2002.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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