The Food and Drug Administration has approved Taxotere® (docetaxel)
for use in combination with prednisone as a treatment for men with
androgen-independent (hormone-refractory) metastatic prostate cancer.
Taxotere, a drug in the taxoid class of chemotherapeutic agents,
inhibits cancer cell division by essentially "freezing"
the cell's internal skeleton, which is comprised of microtubules.
Microtubules assemble and disassemble during a cell cycle. Taxotere
promotes their assembly and blocks their disassembly, thereby preventing
many cancer cells from dividing and resulting in cancer cell death.
The importance of this event is that it defines Taxotere® as
the first drug approved for treating advanced prostate cancer that
has shown a survival benefit. Information on the clinical studies
of Taxotere can be seen in our Clinical Research section. An article
by Dr. Daniel Petrylak on one of the studies can be seen in our
"In The Know" newsletter. Additional information on the
drug can be found here.
Additional clinical investigations are on-going using Taxotere
with estramustine (Emcyt) because the estrogen-like activity of
estramustine can increase the efficacy of Taxotere thereby potentially
extending the survival period.
Additional trials to evaluate the drug's effectiveness in treating
hormone refractory prostate cancer have combined Taxotere with other
agents such as, Thalomid, Xinlay, Revlimid, samarium (Quadramet),
calcitriol and epirubicin among many others. Details on much of
the research being done can be seen here
Even more exciting is the research being done using Taxotere as
an early stage treatment for prostate cancer either as a single
agent or neoadjuvantly prior to radical prostatectomy surgery. A
commentary by Dr. Michael Carducci of Johns Hopkins can be seen
here to learn more about Taxotere