Paclitaxel (Taxol) concentrations in brain tumor tissue

Ann Oncol. 1994 Dec;5(10):951-3. doi: 10.1093/oxfordjournals.annonc.a058736.


Background: Paclitaxel (Taxol) is a novel chemotherapeutic agent, active against a variety of tumors. It is not known whether the drug penetrates brain tumor tissue.

Patients and methods: Three patients with a recurrent glioma received paclitaxel (175 mg/m2) in a 3-hour i.v. infusion prior to surgery. Paclitaxel concentrations were measured in the tumor tissue, cerebrospinal fluid, cyst fluid, plasma and, in one patient, normal brain tissue.

Results: Tumor tissue concentrations were in the therapeutic range in all three patients. Brain tissue concentration, however, was below the detection limit of the trial.

Conclusions: These findings suggest that paclitaxel may have a place in brain tumor therapy. The low concentration in normal brain tissue, as observed in one patient, may suggest, however, that the drug does not cross the intact bloodbrain barrier.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Blood-Brain Barrier
  • Brain / metabolism*
  • Brain Neoplasms / blood
  • Brain Neoplasms / cerebrospinal fluid
  • Brain Neoplasms / metabolism*
  • Glioma / blood
  • Glioma / cerebrospinal fluid
  • Glioma / metabolism*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Paclitaxel / pharmacokinetics*
  • Pilot Projects
  • Tissue Distribution


  • Paclitaxel