n. any of a class of diterpenoid drugs that inhibit cancer cell growth and division. Examples are paclitaxel and docetaxel.
Taxanes are diterpenes. They were originally identified from plants of the genus Taxus (yews), and feature a taxadiene core. Paclitaxel (Taxol) and docetaxel (Taxotere) are widely used as chemotherapy agents. Cabazitaxel was FDA approved to treat hormone-refractory prostate cancer.
Taxanes present difficulties in formulation as medicines because they are poorly soluble in water.