A study that gives knowledge about the effectiveness of drugs used for treating breast cancer is always very welcome. This study involved two chemotherapy drugs, docetaxel (Taxotere) and paclitaxel (Taxol) and 449 women with advanced breast cancers whose treatments had failed before. Both of these drugs come from a group of agents called taxanes and they are also given to patients who suffer from prostate, lung and other cancers.
Women who participated in the study were given either a one-hour intravenous infusion every 21 days of 100 milligrams per square meter of Taxotere or a three-hour intravenous infusion every 21 days of 175 milligrams per square meter of paclitaxel.
The results showed that docetaxel helped women with advanced breast cancer to live longer and slowed the progression of their disease compared with women treated with paclitaxel. And at the end of four years, 11% of docetaxel patients were alive compared to 7% of paclitaxel patients.
These drugs are available on the NHS but their use is limited due to high costs and familiar side effects like nausea, tiredness and hair loss.
This is very important to know when undergoing a therapy.