Prostate Cancer

Chemotherapy for prostate cancer

Chemotherapy can be used as a treatment option for men with prostate cancer that has spread to other parts of their body and is no longer responding to treatment with hormonal therapies (known as hormone-refractory metastatic prostate cancer).

It is used to both to slow down the progression of the cancer prolonging survival and to relieve symptoms, with the aim of prolonging a good quality of life. The chemotherapy drugs are usually given by injection into a vein (intravenously). The most commonly used chemotherapy drug for advanced prostate cancer and the one recommended for use by the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) is docetaxel (Taxotere®). They recommend up to 10 treatments per patient but treatment should stop if the cancer continues to grow or if they have severe side effects.

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Other drugs that may be used, but usually only as part of a clinical trial, are:

•    Estramustine
•    cabazitaxel.
•    mitoxantrone
•    paclitaxel (Taxol®)
•    Epirubicin
 
Last reviewed March 2015.
Last updated March 2015

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