Abraxane Cancer Treatment

Abraxane is the brand name for an injectable cancer treatment drug also called albinum-based paclitaxel.

Paclitaxel (Taxol) is a widely used chemotherapy drug, but Abraxane is different because in this formulation, a highly water-soluble human blood protein called albinum is attached to the paclitaxel. Not only does the albinum make paclitaxel more easily absorbed (bioavailable) by the body, it is also believed to make the drug far less toxic and much more effective than standard paclitaxel.

Drug profile

  • Class: Cytotoxic antimicrotubule agent
  • Mechanism of action: Abraxane is believed to work by exploiting an albinum-specific cellular pathway in order to deliver the drug into a tumor cell.
  • Treatment type: Chemotherapy
  • US approval: 2005
  • Synonyms: Paclitaxel Albumin-stabilized Nanoparticle Formulation,  ABI-007, nanoparticle paclitaxel, nab-paclitaxel
  • FDA Use-in-Pregnancy Rating: Category D

What Abraxane is effective for and why

Abraxane is FDA approved for use against metastatic breast cancer that has failed to respond to combination chemotherapy (that included an anthracycline) within six months of adjuvant chemotherapy.

The manufacturer of Abraxane, Abraxis Bioscience, is currently investigating the safety and efficacy of Abraxane against non-small-cell lung, malignant melanoma, pancreatic, and stomach or gastric cancers.

Side effects of Abraxane

Although thought to be significantly less toxic than standard paclitaxel, Abraxane does cause side effects in some patients. Those side effects include easy bruising or bleeding, neutropenia, leucopenia, anemia, severe asthenia, hair loss, diarrhea, nausea, infections, and sensory neuropathy.


Significant studies and papers relating to Abraxane


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