Audrey Barthelemy and Carole Christophe,
Ecole Normale Superieure de Lyon, France
Cancer is a growing public health problem whose estimated worldwide new incidences are over six million cases per year.
In the USA it is estimated that one in two men and one in three women will develop cancer during their lifetime. Therefore research on this disease are a current issue.
Whereas Taxol and Taxotere (Paclitaxel â
et Docetaxel â) are particularly efficient in the treatement against numbers of cancers, the discovery of new molecule more and more selective remains still a challenge for research.
Epothilone is one of these molecules: it was isolated from culture extracts of the cellulose-degrading myxobacterium (Sorangium cellulosum), in the late 1980s. Significantly, this new antitumor agent exhibit selective cytotoxicity and are particularly effective against certain drug-resistant tumor cell lines, even in cases where Taxol fails.
Consequently, epothilone is currently the subject of advanced synthetic and clinical studies.