Medical Definition of taxane
: any of various tricyclic compounds (as docetaxel and paclitaxel) with anticancer activity that are obtained from yew trees (genus Taxus) or are made synthetically ◆Taxanes act by binding tubulin, thereby promoting microtubule formation and arresting cell division. The taxanes are an important new class of anticancer agents that exert their cytotoxic effects through a unique mechanism.—Eric K. Rowinsky and Ross C. Donehower, The New England Journal of Medicine, 13 Apr. 1995 Some cancers, though, are armored against taxanes: Their cell membranes carry a multiple-drug-resistance pump that identifies taxanes as a threat and pumps them out before they can infiltrate the cell.—Jonathan Fahey, Forbes, 28 May 2001
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