Taxanes are a type of chemotherapeutic drug. Inside cancer cells, taxanes work by interfering with the cell cycle, and interfering with structures (known as microtubules, which are) involved in cell multiplication. Furthermore, taxane-treated cancer cells may undergo apoptosis, a programmed process in which the cancer cell destroys itself.
Examples of taxane drugs include:
• Taxol (generic name, paclitaxel)
• Taxotere (generic name, docetaxel)
Some women with breast cancer of Stage IIIB and higher or recurrent breast cancer receive adjuvant (i.e., post-surgical) treatment with a taxane alone or in combination with other types of chemotherapeutic drugs.