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Docetaxel (Taxotere) - Experiences - Thoughts?

Posts: 11
Joined: Jul 2011

Some background on me

Age 64 as of April 2012
12 7 11 - 1447
Scans showed active prostate cancer widespread in bones
HT treatments & Zometa for bone
31 10 11 - 46.6 Cheers!
25 1 12 - 75 - Crap
22 2 - 99
22 3 - 149 - Start Zytiga
25 4 - 113 | 22 5 - 66 | 19 6 - 38 | 19 7 -34
21 8 - 27.4 |
Diagnosed with TB - started TB Medications
21 9 - 36.8
My medical team found one of the TB med's was effeectly diluting the Zytiga - changed one of the TB Meds
6 10 - 33
Most recent PSA as tested last friday - my PSA went from 33 to 66 in 6 weeks, my medical team thinks the TB meds maybe still affecting the Zytiga. The in place plan is a increased Zytiga dosage than go back in about 2 weeks and have the PSA tested, and possible nuclear imaging scans.

Just on the remote off chance (thinking positively!) the increased Zytiga dosages not work - will be time to go to some next treatment.

I see two possible paths
Path 1
MDV3000 (Xtandi), than Alpharadin when the Xtandi does not work. (Note my Onc Doc has already said he would give me Xtandi pre-chemo)

Path 2
Docetaxel (Taxotere), than later MDV3000 (Xtandi), Alpharadin

>>>>>>>>>> Thoughts on the possible paths? Any thing else I should be looking at (Provenge is out)

I've just about convinced myself Docetaxel (Taxotere) is so hard on the body - its something I want to avoid. Also I've seen here on HW where Docetaxel (Taxotere) failed for so many.

However Docetaxel (Taxotere) has been around since 2008 or so, it must have been successful for many.

>>>>>>>>> Questions
1. How valid is my concern on Docetaxel (Taxotere) being hard on the body? As in do I even want to put up with it?
2. When having the Docetaxel (Taxotere) treatments - were folks able to drive to and from the treatments?

Thanks all!



We will beat this crap!

Posts: 24
Joined: Aug 2011

My husband has his 6th treatment 3 wks ago, so I can help you here. We had no hope really when he decided he would give it a try, but can you really not try? He is on "vacation" the 3rd of Dec. we get the full results of his new scans, and decide on the last 4.

While it has not been easy, it has been mostly inconvenient. Before his first treatment his WBC was 13.7, within 4 days it was. 08, so this meant he was neutropenic and needed to get the shots to build up his WBC so he would stay well. It turned out he is chemo sensitive, but this was a double pointed sword. We live 40 miles from doc, so for next 3 wks he went in daily, including Sat for shots and ivs. Got it up to 4.5 by 3rd week , so. . .another chemo treatment. Went back daily for 2 wks, 3rd treatment only one week and mondays to watch it. After that every treatment was 2 wks worth of shots, 3rd week off.

The shots draw from your bone marrow, like jolts of electricity to start with, by third treament/shot regime jolts are building up in the pain dept. and get your attention. By the 5th treament, you roll in pain for 2 days, and the pain is coming from everywhere, your shoulders, your head, your legs and your feet even. Last treatment we got ahead of it, tylenol 3 works best, believe it or not. Day four after chemo, start taking it and pain is more nagging than anything.

Now, remember 40 miles each way, alllll those days, so inconvenient.

Now the taxotere experience itself. Treatment on Monday, you feel great, around thurs pm, maybe getting funky/tired. No later than fri pm really, really tired and just don't feel good. You rest all weekend and the following week you gain your legs back. Week 3, you feel great, like nothing was ever wrong with you. Now, you have never been ill, just a general malaise is all. Your doc will make sure you are NEVER nauseous, bowel issues, not gonna happen. They really do have it down to an art.

Every treatment is the same. Takes about 1.5 hours, 15 minutes for the port flush or so, go get lunch, shop or go to work. Treatments are every 3 wks and the side effects really are minimal, except for the shots, there is no pain. (port placement does hurt for a few dayss, after all it cuts into chest/upper breast tissue) You can set your calendar by the events and prepare for it.

Right now we know his MRI shows shrinking of tumors in his bones, his psa is down to 2.2. Bone scan sceduled for next Monday, then PET, and wait for the third.

So yes, he would recommend it. He does have some tingling in his feet, he drove himself for the shots, we went together for chemo, moral support really is all. He went into it scared to death of the poison he was putting in his body, but when your choices are so few, you grab everything you can, he doesn't quit anything.

He was diagnosed March 2011, PSA 1913. Gleason 4+5, stage 4, bone mets from base of his neck to hips make me cry, lymph nodes, bone marrow involvement, and a total of 5 spots between both lungs. He is 60 now, went on disability April 2012 mostly so he could take pain meds for the mets, xgeva for the bone cancer as well.

PS If you know anything about prednisone over such a long period of time, you will wind up with "moon face." It is temporary and will go away, after first treatment beginning of week 3, he said his scalp hurt. His hair was falling out, that went away when I shaved it. Sorry if this is wordy and jumbled, this small screen it is hard to go back to previous paragraphs.

Good luck on whatever you decide to do.

Posts: 11
Joined: Jul 2011

I really hope I can avoid the first part!

I do not do pain well at all:)

PSA down - thats great. Even better is the shrinkage of bone mets.

Posts: 48
Joined: May 2011

I have been on the stuff for over a year. Treatments every three weeks. I find that I have to rest for about four or five days after the treatment. No pain or anything. The biggest issue is constipation. I have tried everything to prevent or control it with some success. I don't drive after the treatment. They were giving me Benadryl with the treatment which really made me tired. We have stopped that now. Is it working ? Who knows! My PSA is a over the board but the lympth nodes have decreased in size so that is good news.

Posts: 24
Joined: Aug 2011

The constipation was easily beat with senna, taken regularly with help you a lot. Felt like it was mostly a result of the extra pain meds. Benadryl, that is guaranteed to make you sleep. Zofran was given for the anti nausea at chemo, and regimen for 3 days. Script for compazine was never taken, and Ativan was never filled for anxiety.

After a year you have to be tired of it whether it is working or not. So many ups and downs gets to be draining mentally as well physically. Wishing you well, and enjoy your holidays.

Posts: 11
Joined: Jul 2011

Over a year? I thought was 6 to 8 treatments 3 weeks apart.

Why do you not drive after the treatment?


VascodaGama's picture
Posts: 1973
Joined: Nov 2010


I cannot answer about Docetaxel, but the sequential on your path 1 and 2 seems reasonable. In any case the drugs you mention all act differently and even a combination (taken together not in a sequential) would probably work better. The fact that doctors recommend them to patients after chemo experience is due to FDA’s approval.
Chemo naïve patients are already using these drugs with success.

MDV3100 (not MDV3000 you wrote) is an androgen-receptor (AR) antagonist while Alpharadin (radium-223 chloride) is a radiopharmaceutical that targets bone metastases (new bone and tumour cells) killing cancer with alpha irradiation.
MDV3100 will “tackle” any attempt by the cancerous cells in mutation (altering their ARs), where ever they may be “living”; and Alpharadin directly kills cancer in bone because it (radium) mimics the calcium in body so that it “tricks” our system in taken it to the areas of increased bone metabolism associated with bone metastases.
These two taken together would give a bigger blow to advanced cancer cases. Any of those taken with chemo may cause a “war on the enzymes”, so that not letting the drugs to metabolise totally.

Docetaxel (Taxotere) interferes with the mitosis process (cell division) therefore avoiding a progressive status in advanced cases. It is like practicing a “stand still” act, just stopping any possibility of the cells into mutation. Application of chemo before radiation has been successful in improving survival. However, few doctors recommend it as a prime neoadjuvant treatment. I think the reason being again due to FDA’s discrimination when approving newer drugs. Patients in advanced cases (progressive) that usually have failed other treatments are moved to trials and therefore become the first ones to successfully benefit from the drugs. Their success makes approval easier to take and possible.

I would recommend you to consult an oncologist specialist on targeted medication for detailed advice.

TSPPON puts it so well. Her post is very informative and an experience to follow. Thanks for sharing your husband’s story.



Posts: 48
Joined: May 2011

I don't drive first of all with the Benadryl I was afraid I would fall asleep. Now without it I still feel woozy. The process at our clinic takes about four hours as they do labs first. After all that sitting I just don't feel good. By the way I have had a total of 35 Cheom treatments. Can't get rid of the big C but trying to contol it.

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