Taxotere (the brand name for docetaxel) is a chemotherapy agent popularly used to treat cancer that is discovered or recurs after previous chemotherapy. Part of a group of medicines called taxanes, which derive from the bark or pin needles of certain types of yew trees, Taxotere differs significantly from Alimta (pemetrexid) and Cisplatin in the way it fights mesothelioma.
Unlike most chemotherapies, Taxotere does not stop cancer by attacking the DNA or RNA of cancer cells. Instead, it interferes with the cell's microtubules, structures that help the movement of other key cell components during mitosis (division). By attacking the microtubules, Taxotere stops cancer cells from successfully dividing. In multiple clinical trials, Taxotere demonstrated a high tumor response rate compared to other chemotherapy agents as a second-line treatment for recurring cancers.
Taxotere is only one of many chemotherapy agents used to treat mesothelioma, and chemotherapy is only one of several mesothelioma treatments that your doctor may choose depending on many factors. Figuring out which options are best can be both confusing and stressful for the patient. A skilled and experienced nurse can help walk you through your choices; click here to contact a nurse now.
Taxotere is administered intravenously for a variety of cancers, usually every 21 days. It is mostly used if a cancer returns after such platinum based chemotherapy as Cisplatin.
While all chemotherapy drugs can be toxic and have serious side effects, another benefit of Taxotere is that side effects have been demonstrated to be less severe than with other chemo agents. Possible side effects of Taxotere include nausea, vomiting, fatigue, a reduction in production of blood cells and a consequent increased risk of infection and internal bleeding, skin rash, fluid retention, hypersensitivity, hair loss and diarrhea.
Before starting Taxotere treatment, patients should discuss its effects on fertility and their ability to conceive after treatment. Also, vaccinations should not be taken during treatment, as they can cause patients to be immuno-compromised.
Choosing which chemotherapy regimen is right for you is a crucial decision that you will make with your doctors, so it’s important to assemble an experienced health care team who understands the full range of options. For more information on your treatment options and how we can advocate on your behalf, the Mesothelioma Options Help Center offers a range of services for you and your loved ones.