Paclitaxel is isolated from the Pacific yew. It can be obtained from the European yew, but only after chemical modification of the isolated compound by a semi-synthesis procedure. The procedure for total synthesis of paclitaxel is very complicated, involving multiple steps, and the yields of paclitaxel are meagre. This substance is also a metabolite of certain kinds of fungus. The microbiological pathway for producing paclitaxel compared with isolation from plant material involves shorter procuction times but a small yield. Cyclodextrins are usually used for improving the solubility of paclitaxel in aqueous media, with polymeric and other substances added. Paclitaxel has anticancer activity and use for preparing the formulations intravenously administrated to patients with tumors. The paclitaxel concentration in these formulations is determined using validated HPLC methods.
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