||High blood pressure
||Chincona tree bark
||Hodgkin’s disease and leukemia
||Rosy periwinkle plant
From what plant is taxol extracted?
Taxol is produced from the bark of the western or Pacific yew (Taxus brevifolia). It has been shown to inhibit the growth of HeLa cells (human cancer cells) and is a promising new treatment for several kinds of cancer. Originally it was a scarce drug, but in 1994 two groups of researchers announced its synthesis. The synthesis is a formidable challenge, and better procedures and modifications remain to be developed. Since taxol is developed now from needles instead of tree bark, the natural source is more available, but the synthetic version will be needed to devise modified or “designer” taxols whose cancer-fighting ability may prove more effective.