Alternative formulations of paclitaxel

Cancer Treat Rev. 1997 Mar;23(2):87-95. doi: 10.1016/s0305-7372(97)90022-0.


Paclitaxel, a novel antitumour agent, is active clinically against advanced ovarian and breast cancer and under investigation for various other cancers. One of the problems associated with the intravenous administration of paclitaxel is its low solubility in water. The current pharmaceutical formulation consists of a 1:1 (v/v) mixture of ethanol and Cremophor EL. This formulation, however, has been demonstrated to cause some severe hypersensitivity reactions. Therefore the development of a safer intravenous formulation devoid of Cremophor EL is an important investigational issue. This review deals with some of the most promising formulation alternatives.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Antineoplastic Agents, Phytogenic / administration & dosage*
  • Antineoplastic Agents, Phytogenic / adverse effects
  • Antineoplastic Agents, Phytogenic / chemistry*
  • Chemistry, Pharmaceutical
  • Drug Carriers
  • Emulsions
  • Glycerol / adverse effects
  • Glycerol / analogs & derivatives
  • Humans
  • Infusions, Intravenous
  • Liposomes
  • Paclitaxel / administration & dosage*
  • Paclitaxel / adverse effects
  • Paclitaxel / chemistry*
  • Prodrugs
  • Solvents / adverse effects


  • Antineoplastic Agents, Phytogenic
  • Drug Carriers
  • Emulsions
  • Liposomes
  • Prodrugs
  • Solvents
  • cremophor EL
  • Paclitaxel
  • Glycerol