Prostate cancer is the second leading cause of cancer for men in the United States. Only one class of chemotherapy, called taxanes, is effective against the disease. A study published online on February 15, 2015 in Clinical Cancer Research, researchers have found that a newer member of the taxane family, called cabazitaxel, an FDA-approved drug, has properties that could make it more effective for some patients, a hypothesis currently being tested in clinical trials. Researchers also found a genomic marker that could help physicians identify which patients might benefit most from cabazitaxel. The article was titled, “Novel Actions of Next-Generation Taxanes Benefit Advanced Stages of Prostate Cancer.” "It was surprising to find that cabazitaxel functions differently than docetaxel in killing cancer cells, even though they're both taxanes," says senior author Karen Knudsen, Ph.D., Interim Director of the Sidney Kimmel Cancer Center and a Professor of Cancer Biology at the Sidney Kimmel Medical College at Thomas Jefferson University in Philadelphia. It shows that we may not be taking full advantage of this next-generation taxane in the clinic." For years, docetaxel has been the only effective chemotherapy for men whose cancer was no longer responding to hormone treatments. The next-generation drug in the taxane family, cabazitaxel, was approved in 2010, but only for patients whose cancer no longer responded to hormone therapy or docetaxel treatment. Dr. Knudsen and colleagues explored how cabazitaxel worked, and demonstrated that it might be more effective sooner in treatment than docetaxel.
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