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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.

Click here to learn more about Taxotere



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