Men who received docetaxel, sold as Taxotere and in generic form, lived nearly 58 months versus 44 months for those not given the drug, a major study found.
"This is one of the biggest improvements we've seen in survival in adults" with any type of cancer that has widely spread from its original site, said Dr.
Prostate cancer is the most common cancer in men. In
In the study, all 790 men received drugs to block testosterone, a hormone that fuels prostate cancer's growth, and half also were given six infusions of docetaxel, one every three weeks.
About 2 1/2 years later, 101 of the men given docetaxel had died versus 136 of the men who did not receive it. One man died from the treatment, and about 6 percent had fevers from low blood counts, but most were able to tolerate treatment well, Sweeney said.
"These are often studies that industry is less interested in funding, such as a new use for an old drug" that lost patent protection long ago, he said.
Generic docetaxel costs about
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