A taxane originally isolated from the bark of the Pacific yew, Taxus brevifolia, which interferes with microtubule function and inhibits cell division, and is used in the treatment of some cancers, especially those of the breast and ovary. [A trademark for this drug is Taxol.].
1990s; earliest use found in Bloomberg News. Apparently from pac- + -li- (apparently an arbitrary element) + -taxel, in allusion to the Pacific yew, Taxus brevifolia.