Submitted to: International Botanical Congress
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: April 30, 1999
Publication Date: N/A
Technical Abstract: The novel diterpenoid, paclitaxel (Taxol) is one of the most recent and potent drugs in the treatment of ovarian and breast cancers. Its limited supply from the bark of the Pacific yew (Taxus brevifolia) led to intense efforts to develop alternative sources and means of production. Semisynthetic production methods have been developed using taxane precursors from needles, but increasing applications of taxol in clinical settings still place large demands on both the supply and cost of the drug. For the future, the supply of taxol and its semisynthetic precursors will still rely on biological methods of production, either from Taxus tissues or from cell cultures. Cell cultures can ultimately lead to reliable, year-round production, enabling the conservation of the rich genetic diversity within the genera. This talk will focus on the strategies undertaken to utilize cell cultures as an economic means of taxoid production.