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Cancer Chemother Pharmacol. 2011 Sep;68(3):553-7. doi: 10.1007/s00280-011-1696-7. Epub 2011 Jun 29.

The role of Tau protein in resistance to paclitaxel.

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Klinika Onkologii Kobiet, Wojskowy Instytut Medyczny, Ul. Szaserów 128, Warszawa, Poland.


Resistance to taxanes, related to limited efficacy of systemic therapy in cancer patients, is multifactorial. Among mechanisms of resistance to taxanes, those related to microtubule-associated proteins (MAP), including protein Tau, are of great importance. Protein Tau (50-64 kD) binds to beta-tubulin in the same place as paclitaxel. In preclinical studies, low expression of Tau in cancer cells was associated with increased sensitivity to paclitaxel. High expression of Tau protein in ER-positive breast cancers indicates resistance to taxane-containing chemotherapy and sensitivity to hormonal treatment. This article reviews current knowledge on predictive value of protein Tau in response to taxanes. Better understanding of its role may facilitate patients selection to this sort of treatment and lead to treatment optimization.

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