Background: Taxol has gained considerable attention in cancer therapy in recent years and is successfully used in treating a variety of tumors, including those of the breast, ovary and lung. Despite its preclinical and clinical success, the ability of tumors to develop an acquired resistance to drugs used for treatment remains a major obstacle to cancer cure. A better understanding of the various mechanisms of Taxol resistance may have important implications for strategies designed for cancer treatment.
Method: This review summarizes the information available to date concerning the effects of Taxol and the development of drug resistance, focusing particularly on alterations in microtubules.
Results and discussion: Acquired resistance to Taxol is a function of multiple adaptations. Although the cellular transport of Taxol appears to be an important mechanism of resistance to Taxol, altered transcription and posttranslational modification of microtubular changes may be involved in the mechanism of drug resistance.
Copyright 2000 S. Karger AG, Basel