The diterpenoid natural product taxol, first discovered in the
1960’s has proved to be the most important new anticancer drug
introduced in the last ten years. A brief history of taxol’s
development from laboratory curiosity to blockbuster drug is followed by a
summary of its chemistry, including an overview of the six completed
syntheses of taxol. The review concludes with a discussion of its
bioactivity as a promoter of tubulin polymerization and as a drug.
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