Relevant BNF section: 8.1.5
Three years ago we reviewed paclitaxel (Taxol - Bristol-Myers Squibb), the first taxoid cytotoxic drug to be marketed.1 At that time it was licensed for the treatment of women with metastatic ovarian cancer resistant to standard platinum-containing therapy; we concluded that any benefits of paclitaxel were unproven. Since then the licence has been extended to include first-line treatment (in combination with cisplatin) of advanced ovarian cancer and treatment of metastatic carcinoma of the breast in patients who have failed, or are not candidates for, standard anthracycline-containing therapy. A second taxoid, docetaxel (Taxotere - Rhône-Poulenc Rorer) was launched in 1996. It is licensed for the treatment of patients with breast cancer that is locally advanced or metastatic, and which is either resistant to, or has recurred after, cytotoxic therapy, or has relapsed during adjuvant cytotoxic therapy. In each case, the previous cytotoxic therapy should have included an anthracycline drug (such as doxorubicin). Here we review the place of the two taxoids in the treatment of ovarian and breast cancer.
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