● Taxol is a drug that is commonly used to treat several different forms of cancer.
● Taxol naturally occurs in yew trees but is now commonly synthetically produced.
● A chiral auxiliary is an optically active substance that is temporarily incorporated into an organic
synthesis so that it can be carried out asymmetrically with the selective formation of a single
Applications and skills
● Explanation of how Taxol (Paclitaxel) is obtained and used as a chemotherapeutic agent.
● Description of the use of chiral auxiliaries to form the desired enantiomer.
● Explanation of the use of a polarimeter to identify enantiomers.
The structure of Taxol is provided in the IB data booklet in section 37.
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