Breast Cancer Home > Taxotere

Taxotere is a prescription drug used for treating various types of cancer, including breast cancer, lung cancer, and prostate cancer. The medication works by interfering with certain cell structures, stopping the cancer cells from growing and multiplying. Taxotere, which is administered intravenously, is generally given at a healthcare provider's office, an "infusion center," or a hospital. Possible side effects include hair loss, anemia, and leukopenia.

What Is Taxotere?

Taxotere® (docetaxel) is a prescription medication used to treat various types of cancer. This includes breast cancer, lung cancer, and prostate cancer, to name a few. It is part of a group of chemotherapy medications called taxanes.
(Click Taxotere Uses for more information on what the drug is used for, including possible off-label uses.)

Who Makes It?

Taxotere is currently made by sanofi-aventis.

How Does Taxotere Work?

Taxotere is part of a group of medications called taxanes. Taxanes stop cancer cells from growing and multiplying by interfering with certain structures in the cell.
While Taxotere can kill both healthy and cancerous cells, it has a greater effect on cells that are multiplying rapidly. Generally, cancer cells multiply more rapidly than healthy cells and are therefore more affected by the drug.

Effects of Taxotere

One study looked at using Taxotere to treat advanced or metastatic breast cancer (cancer that has spread to other parts of the body) in people who had been unsuccessfully treated with other types of chemotherapy. People were given either Taxotere or a combination of mitomycin (Mitozytrex®) and vinblastine (Velban®). Compared to the mitomycin/vinblastine combination, Taxotere increased the average survival time from 8.7 months to 11.4 months. It also delayed the progression of the cancer.
Taxotere was also studied for non-operable, non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) that had not responded to previous chemotherapy. Compared to supportive care (which is care to improve the quality of life but not to treat the cancer), the medication extended the survival time and delayed the progression of the cancer.
Other studies have shown that Taxotere is also effective at treating prostate cancer, stomach cancer, and head and neck cancer.
Written by/reviewed by:
Last reviewed by: Kristi Monson, PharmD;
Last updated/reviewed:
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