Cyclosporine and Paclitaxel

By: Marcia Henin

Cyclosporine is a strong immunosuppressant medication considered as a disease modifying anti rheumatic drug (DMARD). Medical terms for this drug are Gengraf, Neoral and Sandimmune. Cyclosporine not only reduces the soreness and inflammation of arthritis, but it also minimizes the risk of long-term immobility.

Usually, people use Cyclosporine to prevent the rejection of transplanted kidneys. It has proven to be effective in treating people with rheumatoid arthritis who do not respond well to other medications, as well those diagnosed with other rheumatoid disorders.

It restrains a group of cells called T-lymphocytes, which are vital in the immune system and plays an important role in preventing "autoimmune" diseases, as such rheumatoid arthritis and lupus.

Paclitaxel and Hydrophobic Compounds:

Paclitaxel is a mitotic inhibitor used mainly in chemotherapy. Mansukh C. Wani and Monroe E. Wall discovered it in a National Cancer Institute Program at the Research Triangle Institute in 1967.

They isolated it from the bark of a Pacific yew tree called Taxus brevifolia, and named it as 'taxol'. Later, the altered generic name was 'Paclitaxel', when Bristol-Myers Squibb (BMS) started its commercial production.

In recent times, this substance has been used to cure patients diagnosed with ovarian, breast, head, neck and lung cancer, and advanced type of Kaposi's sarcoma. Usually, it works by messing with microtubule growth during cell division. In combination with docetaxel, it produces the drug, taxanes.

Apart from offering significant improvement in patient care, paclitaxel is somewhat a controversial medication. Doctors necessarily use this drug to treat cells of lung cancer in patients, who are incurable through therapeutic treatments, and in first-line and second-line treatment of ovarian cancer.

It greatly helps to avoid restenosis, which is a condition of frequent narrowing of coronary stents. Here, a taxol coating restricts the development of neointima (scar tissue) inside the coronary stents. In the United States, Boston Scientific sells the drug-coated stents under the brand name Taxus.

Both Cyclosporine and Paclitaxel are hydrophobic compounds. Researchers usually incorporate hydrophobic compounds into a polymeric medium for drug delivery to alter drug release energy. Hydrophobic compounds lack affinity for water and tend to repel and deject water.

Thus, they are not the primary modes of action for clinical use, hence are under scientific research.

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