Drug interactions of paclitaxel and docetaxel and their relevance for the design of combination therapy

Lucia Vigano, Alberta Locatelli, Giacomo Grasselli, Luca Gianni

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The taxanes' interaction with other anticancer drugs have been extensively investigated in in vitro and in animal models as well as in humans due to the outstanding antitumor activity in a broad range of malignancies. Paclitaxel and docetaxel are endowed of a rich and complex pharmacology whereby different pharmacodynamic effects are observed depending on the sequence of their administration in respect with the companion drug, and the type of drug that is combined. Pharmacokinetic interference is often but not always a basis of the pharmacodynamic effect. In addition, the vehicle of clinical formulation, especially Cremophor EL for paclitaxel, influence the pharmacological effect. Finally, new interaction based on as yet unknown mechanisms drive the two taxanes to multiple additive/synergistic relationships with new signal transduction drugs, such as modulators of the epidermal-growth-factor family of receptors and farnesyl-transferase inhibitors. The ongoing effort to better understanding such a rich pharmacology is worth continuing in view of designing new and better combinations of the taxanes.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)179-196
Number of pages18
JournalInvestigational New Drugs
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2001


  • Combination therapy
  • Docetaxel
  • Paclitaxel
  • Pharmacodynamics
  • Pharmacokinetics

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Molecular Medicine
  • Pharmacology


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