Antitumour effects of taxanes with particular emphasis on their use in the treatment of melanoma
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Katedra i Zakład Patofizjologii, Uniwersytet Medyczny w Lublinie, Polska
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Paula Wróblewska-Łuczka   

Katedra i Zakład Patofizjologii, Uniwersytet Medyczny w Lublinie, Jaczewskiego 8b, 20-090, Lublin, Polska
Med Srod. 2020;23(1-4):9-17
Introduction and objective:
Cancer is diagnosed in millions of people worldwide, and their number is constantly growing. For many years researchers have made efforts to find more effective drugs in order to control this deadly disease. These compounds include taxanes – substances derived from yew extract which exhibit anti-cancer properties.

Brief description of the state of knowledge:
Taxanes include paclitaxel, docetaxel, and cabazitaxel. These are cytostatic drugs that act by stabilizing tubulin. There are two theories to explain cell death after the application of taxanes: one of which is cell arrest in mitosis, and the other is death by activation of checkpoints in response to abnormal chromosome segregation among cells that have undergone abnormal mitosis or mitotic slippage. Death occurs through the mechanism of apoptosis. Scientists are developing various ways to increase the bioavailability of drugs to achieve better therapeutic effects, and to use the drug in the lowest possible dose to minimize the risk of side effects. Taxanes are commonly used in the treatment of many types of cancer, for example, in the treatment of patients with breast cancer, ovarian cancer, prostate or stomach cancer and non-small cell lung cancer. The article discusses these therapies, taking into account the latest scientific reports. In addition, the possibility of treating the most dangerous skin cancer – melanoma has been described in detail, in which these drugs have not yet been routinely used.

Scientific studies develop knowledge concerning the effect of taxanes and confirm their anti-cancer properties, which save the lives of an increasingly larger group of cancer patients.

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