Novel formulations of taxanes: a review. Old wine in a new bottle?

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Over the past two decades, the taxanes have played a significant role in the treatment of various malignancies. However, the poor solubility of these compounds necessitates the inclusion of surfactant vehicles in their commercial formulations. Cremophor EL and polysorbate 80 have long comprised the standard solvent system for paclitaxel and docetaxel, respectively. A number of pharmacologic and biologic effects related to both of these drug formulations have been described, including clinically relevant acute hypersensitivity reactions and peripheral neuropathy. In addition, these solvents affect the disposition of intravenously administered solubilized drugs and leach plasticizers from polyvinylchloride infusion sets. A number of strategies to develop formulations of surfactant-free taxanes have been developed. They include albumin nanoparticles, polyglutamates, taxane analogs and prodrugs, emulsions, and lipsomes. An overview of these novel formulations of taxanes, their mechanisms of action, pharmacokinetics, dose and administration, adverse effects, and clinical efficacy will be discussed.

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