Docetaxel is a type of chemotherapy called a taxane. Taxanes interfere with structures in a cell called microtubules that help move chromosomes during mitosis (cell division). Docetaxel stops the growth of cancer cells and other dividing cells by blocking cell division.
Use in Cancer
Docetaxel is approved to be used alone or with other drugs to treat:
- Breast cancer that has spread and has not gotten better with other chemotherapy. It is also used with doxorubicin hydrochloride and cyclophosphamide to treat breast cancer that is node-positive and can be removed by surgery.
- Non-small cell lung cancer that has spread. It is used:
- Prostate cancer that has spread to other parts of the body in men whose cancer is castrate resistant (has not responded to treatments that lower testosterone levels).
- Squamous cell carcinoma of the head and neck that is locally advanced. It is used with cisplatin and fluorouracil.
- Stomach adenocarcinoma or gastroesophageal junction adenocarcinoma (a rare type of esophageal cancer) that is advanced. It is used in patients whose cancer has not been treated with chemotherapy.
Docetaxel is also being studied in the treatment of other types of cancer.
More About Docetaxel
Definition from the NCI Drug Dictionary - Detailed scientific definition and other names for this drug.
MedlinePlus Information on Docetaxel - A lay language summary of important information about this drug that may include the following:
- warnings about this drug,
- what this drug is used for and how it is used,
- what you should tell your doctor before using this drug,
- what you should know about this drug before using it,
- other drugs that may interact with this drug, and
- possible side effects.
Drugs are often studied to find out if they can help treat or prevent conditions other than the ones they are approved for. This patient information sheet applies only to approved uses of the drug. However, much of the information may also apply to unapproved uses that are being studied.
Research Results and Related Resources
Clinical Trials Accepting Patients
Find Clinical Trials for Docetaxel - Check for trials from NCI's list of cancer clinical trials now accepting patients.