Novel drugs targeting microtubules: The role of epothilones

Gabriella Ferrandina, Marisa Mariani, Mirko Andreoli, Shohreh Shahabi, Giovanni Scambia, Cristiano Ferlini*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

30 Scopus citations


Among the drugs targeting microtubule functions by interfering with tubulin subunits, epothilones represent a class of anticancer agents which recently entered clinical development. Although epothilones share mechanisms of action similar to taxanes, they have non-overlapping mechanisms of resistance; in particular, while overexpression of class III β-tubulin plays a major role in taxane resistance, epothilones display their highest efficacy in class III β-tubulin overexpressing malignancies. Three compounds belonging to this family (patupilone, ixabepilone and sagopilone), have been actively investigated in clinical trials, and some of them are at an advanced stage of development. This review provides a comprehensive analysis of the available literature on epothilones, focusing on their clinical development and potential as an additional weapon in the arsenal against tumors.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2793-2803
Number of pages11
JournalCurrent Pharmaceutical Design
Issue number19
StatePublished - Jun 2012


  • Cell survival
  • Class III β-tubulin
  • Cytoskeleton
  • Epothilones
  • Ovarian cancer

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pharmacology
  • Drug Discovery


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