Taxol (generic name, paclitaxel) was first approved in 1982 by the FDA for the treatment of advanced (metastatic) breast cancer. In 1999, the FDA also approved Taxol to treat early-stage breast cancer in patients who have already received chemotherapy with the drug, doxorubicin. For each treatment with Taxol, the drug usually is given intravenously (through the vein) as an infusion for over one hour.
The active agent in Taxol, paclitaxel, was first isolated from a Pacific yew tree. Recently, scientists discovered that paclitaxel also is present in hazelnuts.