Comparing Abiraterone and Docetaxel in Prostate Cancer Treatment

Christopher Sweeney, MBBS
Published: 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.



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Online CME Activities
TitleExpiration DateCME Credits
Community Practice Connections™: 1st Annual International Congress of Oncology Pathology™: Towards Harmonization of Pathology and Oncology StandardsAug 30, 20182.0
Clinical Interchange™: Translating Research to Inform Changing Paradigms: Assessment of Emerging Immuno-Oncology Strategies and Combinations across Lung, Head and Neck, and Bladder CancersOct 31, 20182.0
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