Comparing Abiraterone and Docetaxel in Prostate Cancer Treatment

Christopher Sweeney, MBBS
Published Online: Friday, Nov 10, 2017



Christopher Sweeney, MBBS, physician, Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, compares treatment with abiraterone acetate (Zytiga) verus docetaxel in patients with prostate cancer.

Both drugs have their pros and cons, according to Sweeney. Abiraterone is an oral agent that must be taken for months at a time. While the side effects may not be as severe, they can be longer lasting than those seen with docetaxel. Adverse effects include high blood pressure and diabetes. Docetaxel, on the other hand, which is administered intravenously, only needs to be given to patients every 3 weeks for 6 cycles. However, the agent comes with typical chemotherapy-related toxicities, such as fatigue and weakness, low white blood cell counts and neutropenic fever.

Deciding between the 2 agents is often difficult for clinicians and their patients, especially since the two have nearly the same efficacy, according to Sweeney. Once a patient progresses or stops responding to one of the treatment, they will often be switched on to another.


Christopher Sweeney, MBBS, physician, Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, compares treatment with abiraterone acetate (Zytiga) verus docetaxel in patients with prostate cancer.

Both drugs have their pros and cons, according to Sweeney. Abiraterone is an oral agent that must be taken for months at a time. While the side effects may not be as severe, they can be longer lasting than those seen with docetaxel. Adverse effects include high blood pressure and diabetes. Docetaxel, on the other hand, which is administered intravenously, only needs to be given to patients every 3 weeks for 6 cycles. However, the agent comes with typical chemotherapy-related toxicities, such as fatigue and weakness, low white blood cell counts and neutropenic fever.

Deciding between the 2 agents is often difficult for clinicians and their patients, especially since the two have nearly the same efficacy, according to Sweeney. Once a patient progresses or stops responding to one of the treatment, they will often be switched on to another.



View Conference Coverage
Online CME Activities
TitleExpiration DateCME Credits
Clinical Vignette Series: 34th Annual Chemotherapy Foundation Symposium: Innovative Cancer Therapy for Tomorrow®Feb 28, 20182.0
Community Practice Connections™: Personalized Sequencing in Castration-Resistant Prostate Cancer: Bridging the Latest Evidence to the Bedside in Clinical ManagementAug 25, 20181.5
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