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