First Evidence That Chemotherapy Extends Life in
Advanced Prostate Cancer
Prostate cancer, docetaxel (Taxotere®), chemotherapy . (Definitions
of many terms related to cancer can be found in the MedTerms Dictionary.)
Chemotherapy regimens that include the drug docetaxel extend median
survival by two to three months in patients with advanced prostate cancer that
is no longer responsive to hormone therapy, two large phase III studies have
shown. These are the first clinical trials to show that chemotherapy can improve
survival in advanced prostate cancer.
American Society of Clinical Oncology annual meeting, New Orleans,
June 7, 2004. Final results subsequently published in the October 7, 2004, issue
of the New England Journal of Medicine (links to the journal abstracts, below).
Therapies that lower the body's level of the male sex hormone
testosterone, which encourages prostate cancer growth, are the mainstay of
treatment for prostate cancer that has spread to other organs. However, many
patients stop responding to hormonal therapies after two to three years of
treatment. No effective therapy currently exists for advanced prostate cancer
that stops responding to hormonal therapy.