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      Paclitaxel chemotherapy: from empiricism to a mechanism-based formulation strategy

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          Paclitaxel is an anticancer agent effective for the treatment of breast, ovarian, lung, and head and neck cancer. Because of water insolubility, paclitaxel is formulated with the micelle-forming vehicle Cremophor EL to enhance drug solubility. However, the addition of Cremophor EL results in hypersensitivity reactions, neurotoxicity, and altered pharmacokinetics of paclitaxel. To circumvent these unfavorable effects resulting from the addition of Cremophor EL, efforts have been made to develop new delivery systems for paclitaxel administration. For example, ABI-007 is a Cremophor-free, albumin-stabilized, nanoparticle paclitaxel formulation that was found to have significantly less toxicity than Cremophor-containing paclitaxel in mice. Pharmacokinetic studies indicate that in contrast to Cremophor-containing paclitaxel, ABI-007 displays linear pharmacokinetics over the clinically relevant dose range of 135–300 mg/m 2. In a phase III study conducted in patients with metastatic breast cancer, patients treated with ABI-007 achieved a significantly higher objective response rate and time to progression than those treated with Cremophor-containing paclitaxel. Together these findings suggest that nanoparticle albumin-bound paclitaxel may enable clinicians to administer paclitaxel at higher doses with less toxicity than is seen with Cremophor-containing paclitaxel. The role of this novel paclitaxel formulation in combination therapy with other antineoplastic agents needs to be determined.

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          Cremophor EL: the drawbacks and advantages of vehicle selection for drug formulation.

          Cremophor EL (CrEL) is a formulation vehicle used for various poorly-water soluble drugs, including the anticancer agent paclitaxel (Taxol). In contrast to earlier reports, CrEL is not an inert vehicle, but exerts a range of biological effects, some of which have important clinical implications. Its use has been associated with severe anaphylactoid hypersensitivity reactions, hyperlipidaemia, abnormal lipoprotein patterns, aggregation of erythrocytes and peripheral neuropathy. The pharmacokinetic behaviour of CrEL is dose-independent, although its clearance is highly influenced by duration of the infusion. This is particularly important since CrEL can affect the disposition of various drugs by changing the unbound drug concentration through micellar encapsulation. In addition, it has been shown that CrEL, as an integral component of paclitaxel chemotherapy, modifies the toxicity profile of certain anticancer agents given concomitantly, by mechanisms other than kinetic interference. A clear understanding of the biological and pharmacological role of CrEL is essential to help oncologists avoid side-effects associated with the use of paclitaxel or other agents using this vehicle. With the present development of various new anticancer agents, it is recommended that alternative formulation approaches should be pursued to allow a better control of the toxicity of the treatment and the pharmacological interactions related to the use of CrEL.
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            Plant antitumor agents VI Isolation and structure of taxol a novel antileukemic and antitumor agent from Taxus brevifolia

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              Phase I and pharmacokinetic study of ABI-007, a Cremophor-free, protein-stabilized, nanoparticle formulation of paclitaxel.

              ABI-007 is a novel Cremophor-free, protein-stabilized, nanoparticle formulation of paclitaxel. The absence of Cremophor EL may permit ABI-007 to be administered without the premedications used routinely for the prevention of hypersensitivity reactions. Furthermore, this novel formulation permits a higher paclitaxel concentration in solution and, thus, a decreased infusion volume and time. This Phase I study examines the toxicity profile, maximum tolerated dose (MTD), and pharmacokinetics of ABI-007. ABI-007 was administered in the outpatient setting, as a 30-min infusion without premedications. Doses of ABI-007 ranged from 135 (level 0) to 375 mg/m2 (level 3). Sixteen patients participated in pharmacokinetic studies. Nineteen patients were treated. No acute hypersensitivity reactions were observed during the infusion period. Hematological toxicity was mild and not cumulative. Dose-limiting toxicity, which occurred in 3 of 6 patients treated at level 3 (375 mg/m2), consisted of sensory neuropathy (3 patients), stomatitis (2 patients), and superficial keratopathy (2 patients). The MTD was thus determined to be 300 mg/m2 (level 2). Pharmacokinetic analyses revealed paclitaxel C(max) and area under the curve(inf) values to increase linearly over the ABI-007 dose range of 135-300 mg/m2. C(max) and area under the curve(inf) values for individual patients correlated well with toxicity. ABI-007 offers several features of clinical interest, including rapid infusion rate, absence of requirement for premedication, and a high paclitaxel MTD. Our results provide support for Phase II trials to determine the antitumor activity of this drug.

                Author and article information

                Ther Clin Risk Manag
                Therapeutics and Clinical Risk Management
                Therapeutics and Clinical Risk Management
                Dove Medical Press
                June 2005
                June 2005
                : 1
                : 2
                : 107-114
                Clinical Pharmacology Research Core, National Cancer Institute Bethesda, MD, USA
                Author notes
                Correspondence: William D Figg Clinical Pharmacology Research Core, National Cancer Institute, 9000 Rockville Pike, Building 10, Room 5A01, Bethesda, MD 20892, USA Tel +1 301 402 3622 Fax +1 301 402 8606 Email wdfigg@ 123456helix.nih.gov
                © 2005 Dove Medical Press Limited. All rights reserved


                paclitaxel, albumin-bound paclitaxel, nanoparticle, pharmacokinetics


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