Drugs that target cellular microtubules are some of the most important agents used in the treatment of adult and pediatric cancers. This chapter aims to provide an overview of diverse microtubule targeting agents, including microtubule stabilizers and destabilizers, and describes how these agents bind to tubulin/microtubules and suppress microtubule dynamics leading to defects in mitotic spindle function, mitotic arrest, and initiation of apoptosis. Although the microtubule and antimitotic effects of these agents are the focus of this chapter, there is evidence to suggest that the anticancer actions of these agents are multifactorial, which may contribute to their pleiotropic biological activities. The emphasis of this chapter is on microtubule targeting drugs that are currently used clinically for cancer therapy as well as agents that are being evaluated in clinical trials. A few agents in preclinical development that have a unique binding site or mechanism of action are also described.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)