Medical Dictionary


noun tax·ane \ˈtak-ˌsān\

Medical Definition of taxane

  1. :  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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