The Role of Chemistry in History

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Entries Tagged as 'Paclitaxel'

References

April 15th, 2008 · Comments Off

Introduction to Paclitaxel | From Tree to Taxol | Paclitaxel and Cancer Treatment | Inside Paclitaxel: Physical Characteristics | Paclitaxel: Effective or Too Costly? | Paclitaxel’s Affect on History | History’s Affect on Paclitaxel | References

Cragg, G.M. et al. (1993). ‘The taxol supply crisis: New NCI policies for handling the large-scale production of novel natural product anticancer and anti-HIV agents.’ Journal of Natural Products 56, 1657-1668.

Gentry, H.S. & Hadley, Diana. (1995). ‘Listening to my mind’: Howard Scott Gentry’s recollections of the Rio Mayo Journal of the Southwest, 37, 178-245.

Goodman, J. & Walsh, V. (2001). The story of taxol: Nature and politics in the pursuit of an anti-cancer drug. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press.

Horwitz, S.B. (1994). ‘How to make taxol from scratch.’ Nature, 367, 593-594.

Horwitz, S.B. & Horwitz, M.S. (1973). ‘Effects of camptothecin on the breakage and repair of DNA during the cell cycle.’ Cancer Research, 33, 2834-2836.

Horwitz, S.B. et al. (1982). ‘Taxol: A new probe for studying the structure and function of microtubules.’ Cold Spring Harbor Symposium on Quantitative Biology, 46, 219-226.

Kingston, D.G.I. (1995). ‘History and chemistry.’ In McGuire & Rowinsky Paclitaxel in cancer treatment. New York, NY: Marcel Dekker, Incorporated.

Kinghorn, A.D. & Balandrin, M.F. (Eds.). (1993). Human medical agents from plants. Washington, DC: American Chemical Society.

Kumar, N. (1981). ‘Taxol-induced polymerization of purified tubulin.’ Journal of Biological Chemistry 256, no. 20, 10435-10441. 

McGuire, W.P. & Rowinsky, E.K. (Ed.). (1995). Paclitaxel in cancer treatment. New York, NY: Marcel Dekker, Incorporated.

Nicolaou, K.C., Dai, W.-M. & Guy, R.K. (1994). Chemistry and biology of taxol. Angewandte Chemie International Edition English, 33, 15-44.

Ringel, Israel. (1995). ‘Molecular mechanisms.’ In McGuire & Rowinsky Paclitaxel in cancer treatment. New York, NY: Marcel Dekker, Incorporated.

Suffness, M. (Ed.). (1995). Taxol: Science and applications. New York, NY: CRC Press.

Suffness, M. & Wall, M.E. (1995). Discovery and development of taxol. In Suffness, M. (Ed.), Taxol: science and applications. Boca Raton, FL: CRC Press, 3-25.

Wani, M.C. et al. (1971). ‘Plant antitumor agents. VI. The isolation and structure of taxol, a novel antileukemic and antitumor agent from Taxus brevifolia.’ Journal of the American Chemical Society, 93, 2325-2327.

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Categories: Paclitaxel

History’s Affect on Paclitaxel

April 15th, 2008 · Comments Off

Introduction to Paclitaxel | From Tree to Taxol | Paclitaxel and Cancer Treatment | Inside Paclitaxel: Physical Characteristics | Paclitaxel: Effective or Too Costly? | Paclitaxel’s Affect on History | History’s Affect on Paclitaxel | References

Paclitaxel’s development might be seen as a microcosm of external historical events and ideologies that have affected not only the biochemical world but history in general. For instance, paclitaxel’s development came during a period of increased fervor in finding a cure for cancer, an incredibly important field that continues today. Moreover, environmentalists, developing from the 1970s in particular, became more aware of different man-made impacts on the environment, notwithstanding paclitaxel’s synthesis. Thus, one sees the impact that external ideologies and events may have on the cancer treatment world, a top-down effect. Finally, serendipity, an undefinable but significant role in the production of many drugs throghout history, has also affected paclitaxel. Paclitaxel, a result of a wide-ranging look for cancer treatments through plants, came realtively out-of-nowhere, when the botanist Arthur S. Barclay discovered taxol in 1962. Through these devlopments outside of paclitaxel, one sees that history has affected paclitaxel most likely more than paclitaxel has affected history, a comment on the power of external ideas and events over internal ideas such as paclitaxel’s unique history.

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Categories: Paclitaxel

Paclitaxel’s Affect on History

April 15th, 2008 · Comments Off

Introduction to Paclitaxel | From Tree to Taxol | Paclitaxel and Cancer Treatment | Inside Paclitaxel: Physical Characteristics | Paclitaxel: Effective or Too Costly? | Paclitaxel’s Affect on History | History’s Affect on Paclitaxel | References

Paclitaxel is a remarkably controversial, yet effective drug for fighting the mitotic processes in cancer cells. As such, paclitaxel has affected the direction of cancer research due to its relatively high success rate, particularly with ovarian cancer. Moreover, history has shown that paclitaxel’s very means of discovery was fraught with ecological concerns, associated with its success, as well as institutional and political problems. The effectiveness of paclitaxel may represent its crux as well: the success of the molecule has spurred competing chemists into a battle over the rights to the cancer treatment, one that has often involved serious legal and governmental legislation. Taxol is also used in other procedures, such as in vitro fertilization, used to affect the cell microtubules.

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Categories: Paclitaxel

Paclitaxel: Effective or Too Costly?

April 15th, 2008 · Comments Off

Introduction to Paclitaxel | From Tree to Taxol | Paclitaxel and Cancer Treatment | Inside Paclitaxel: Physical Characteristics | Paclitaxel: Effective or Too Costly? | Paclitaxel’s Affect on History | History’s Affect on Paclitaxel | References

Paclitaxel has always been the center of attention between scientists and researchers looking for a viable solution/drug for certain types of cancers, however, the drug has also been the center of attention for evironmentalists (and rightly so) for its ecological affects on the pacific yew tree populatioon of the Pacific Northwest. During phase II trials, an abudence of bark samples were needed to work on the synthesis of the cancer treating drug: an alarm bell for environmentalists to commence fighting against scientists and researchers, appealing to the government to limit the use of tree bark in paclitaxel’s synthesis.

Currently, pacltaxel is devloped through an improved method of plant cell fermentation which limits the amount of energy used and retain the effectiveness of the drug produced. This is a result of environmentalists demanding a resolution from the government in 1993, making the production of paclitaxel more ecologically-friendly in its nature.

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Categories: Paclitaxel

Inside Paclitaxel: Physical Characteristics

April 15th, 2008 · Comments Off

Introduction to Paclitaxel | From Tree to Taxol | Paclitaxel and Cancer Treatment | Inside Paclitaxel: Physical Characteristics | Paclitaxel: Effective or Too Costly? | Paclitaxel’s Affect on History | History’s Affect on Paclitaxel | References

  • Paclitaxel works to inhibit mitosis in quickly multiplying cells in the body (cancer cells in particular).

  • Taxol Molecule DiagramUpon injection of the drug, paclitaxel interfers with the beta subunit of tubulin, an important part of the microtubule that facilitates cell division and construction.

  • Moreover, when paclitaxel bonds with this specifc part of the microtubules, the cell goes through characteristics that are irregular and affect the division of the cell in mitosis.

  • Once mitosis is started, the microtubules position themselves for division and seperation into the emerging ‘new’ cell; however, the paclitaxel has already bonded to the microtubule and created a surpluss of microtubules (in contrast to other mitotic inhibitors that attach to tubulin and disassemble the microtubules), and thus, the cell undergoes apoptosis (cell death).

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Categories: Paclitaxel

Paclitaxel and Cancer Treatment

April 15th, 2008 · Comments Off

Introduction to Paclitaxel | From Tree to Taxol | Paclitaxel and Cancer Treatment | Inside Paclitaxel: Physical Characteristics | Paclitaxel: Effective or Too Costly? | Paclitaxel’s Affect on History | History’s Affect on Paclitaxel | References

In 1979, Susan B. Horwitz’s publication on the true intermoleculear features of taxol, including the mitotic inhibition caused by the molecule upon injection, created a new interest in the molecule. The 80′s produced the first phases of efforts to analyze the affects of paclitaxel as a cancer treatment, which began preliminary trials in 1984. By 1988, phase II trials were underway, meaning an inceases in the amount of pacific yew tree bark needed to synthesize the molecule.


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Categories: Paclitaxel

From Tree to Taxol

April 15th, 2008 · Comments Off

Introduction to Paclitaxel | From Tree to Taxol | Paclitaxel and Cancer Treatment | Inside Paclitaxel: Physical Characteristics | Paclitaxel: Effective or Too Costly? | Paclitaxel’s Affect on History | History’s Affect on Paclitaxel | References

PPacific Yew Treeacliatxel, developed initially from the Taxus brevifolia or Pacific yew tree in 1967, underwent many stages of development prior to reaching the level it is used today. Arthur S. Barclay’s work in collecting and discovering the taxol molecule from the bark of the yew tree on the Pacific coast of Washington set in motion many stages of synthesis and debate over the molecule.

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Categories: Paclitaxel

Introduction to Paclitaxel

April 15th, 2008 · Comments Off

Introduction to Paclitaxel | From Tree to Taxol | Paclitaxel and Cancer Treatment | Inside Paclitaxel: Physical Characteristics | Paclitaxel: Effective or Too Costly? | Paclitaxel’s Affect on History | History’s Affect on Paclitaxel | References

Paclitaxel, a derivative of the pacific yew tree Taxus brevifolia, is a remarkably effective but controversial cancer treatmenting drug. The history associated with paclitaxel is one of a tremendous battle between three groups: environmentalists, who lobby for an alternate way of creating the drug; scientists, who feel the drug is particuarily effective on breast and ovarian cancers; and congressmen, who juggle the two sides in a perpetual game of ethics. Removing paclitaxel from external politics and ethics, the drug is effective because it is a mitotic inhibitor, that stops the growth of the cancer cell through hyper-stabilization of the cell. The paclitaxel injection strongly affects rapidly reproducing cancer cells because the drug is particuarily effective at disrupting the cell division in both the cytoskeleton of the cell and by docking at the specific protein responsible for cell building. Paclitaxel’s effectiveness, though controversial in its development, is key to the history of cancer treatment over the past 50 years and is a drug of remarkable dimensions, both histroically and biochemically.

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Categories: Paclitaxel