Taxanes: their impact on gynecologic malignancy

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The use of taxanes in the treatment of gynecologic malignancies has expanded tremendously over the past 30 years. Both paclitaxel and docetaxel have unique microtubule stabilizing, antiangiogenic and radiation sensitizing properties that endow them with remarkable activity as chemotherapeutic agents. As research into the appropriate dose, timing, treatment interval, and response rates have been studied, they have emerged as one of the most active agents available in the treatment of gynecologic cancer. The body of research on taxanes continues to expand especially with regard to the use of taxanes in alternative formulations and in combination with newer treatments or routes of treatment. This review focuses on the development of taxanes as an effective therapy in the treatment of gynecologic cancers and data currently available in the literature regarding their efficacy. Future directions of taxane-based chemotherapy with regards to ovarian, uterine, and cervical cancers are also addressed. There is little doubt that taxane-based chemotherapy will remain an integral part of the treatment of gynecologic cancer for the foreseeable future.

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