Paclitaxel (Taxol) concentrations in brain tumor tissue

J J Heimans, J B Vermorken, J G Wolbers, C M Eeltink, O W Meijer, M J Taphoorn, J H Beijnen

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BACKGROUND: Paclitaxel (Taxol) is a novel chemotherapeutic agent, active against a variety of tumors. It is not known whether the drug penetrates brain tumor tissue.

PATIENTS AND METHODS: Three patients with a recurrent glioma received paclitaxel (175 mg/m2) in a 3-hour i.v. infusion prior to surgery. Paclitaxel concentrations were measured in the tumor tissue, cerebrospinal fluid, cyst fluid, plasma and, in one patient, normal brain tissue.

RESULTS: Tumor tissue concentrations were in the therapeutic range in all three patients. Brain tissue concentration, however, was below the detection limit of the trial.

CONCLUSIONS: These findings suggest that paclitaxel may have a place in brain tumor therapy. The low concentration in normal brain tissue, as observed in one patient, may suggest, however, that the drug does not cross the intact bloodbrain barrier.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)951-3
Number of pages3
JournalAnnals of Oncology
Issue number10
Publication statusPublished - Dec 1994


  • Adult
  • Blood-Brain Barrier
  • Brain Neoplasms/blood
  • Brain/metabolism
  • Glioma/blood
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Paclitaxel/pharmacokinetics
  • Pilot Projects
  • Tissue Distribution

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