This document is a summary of the European public assessment report (EPAR) for Taxotere. It explains how the Committee for Medicinal Products for Human Use (CHMP) assessed the medicine to reach its opinion in favour of granting a marketing authorisation and its recommendations on the conditions of use for Taxotere.
What is Taxotere?
Taxotere is a medicine that contains the active substance docetaxel. It is available in two forms:
as two vials (one containing a concentrated solution and the other containing a solvent), whose contents are mixed together before being made up into a solution for infusion (drip into a vein);
a single vial containing a concentrate that is ready to make up into a solution for infusion.
What is Taxotere used for?
Taxotere is used to treat the following types of cancer:
breast cancer. Taxotere can be used on its own after other treatments have failed. It can also be used with other anticancer medicines (doxorubicin, cyclophosphamide, trastuzumab or capecitabine) in patients who have not yet received any treatment for their cancer or after other treatments have failed, depending on the type and stage of the breast cancer being treated;
prostate cancer, when the cancer does not respond to hormonal treatment. Taxotere is used with prednisone or prednisolone
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gastric adenocarcinoma (a type of stomach cancer) in patients who have not yet received any treatment for their cancer. Taxotere is used with cisplatin and
head and neck cancer in patients whose cancer is locally advanced (a cancer that has grown but has not spread). Taxotere is used with cisplatin and
For full details, see the summary of product characteristics (also part of the EPAR).
The medicine can only be obtained with a prescription.
How is Taxotere used?
Taxotere should be used in wards specialising in chemotherapy (using medicines to treat cancer) under the supervision of a doctor who is qualified in the use of chemotherapy.
Taxotere is given as a
How does Taxotere work?
The active substance in Taxotere, docetaxel, belongs to the group of anticancer medicines known as the taxanes. Docetaxel blocks the ability of cells to destroy the internal ‘skeleton’ that allows them to divide and multiply. With the skeleton still in place, the cells cannot divide and they eventually die.
Docetaxel also affects
How has Taxotere been studied?
Taxotere has been studied in over 4,000
What benefit has Taxotere shown during the studies?
Adding Taxotere to other anticancer treatments produced increases in the number of patients whose cancer responded to treatment, how long the patients lived without their disease getting worse and how long the patients survived, in all five types of cancer. When used on its own, Taxotere was at least as effective as and sometimes more effective than the comparator medicines in breast cancer, and more effective than best supportive care (any medicines or techniques to help patients, but not other anticancer medicines) in lung cancer.
What is the risk associated with Taxotere?
The most common side effects with Taxotere (seen in more than 1 patient in 10) are neutropenia (low levels of neutrophils), anaemia (low red blood cell counts), thrombocytopenia (low blood platelet
counts), febrile neutropenia (neutropenia with fever), peripheral sensory neuropathy (nerve damage in the hands and feet), peripheral motor neuropathy (damage to the nerves causing difficulty
Taxotere must not be used in people who are hypersensitive (allergic) to docetaxel or any of the other ingredients. Taxotere must not be used in patients who have a neutrophil count of less than 1,500 cells/mm3 or who have severe problems with their liver.
Why has Taxotere been approved?
The CHMP decided that Taxotere’s benefits are greater than its risks and recommended that it be given marketing authorisation.
Other information about Taxotere:
The European Commission granted a marketing authorisation valid throughout the European Union for Taxotere on 27 November 1995. The marketing authorisation is valid for an unlimited period.
The full EPAR for Taxotere can be found on the Agency’s website: ema.europa.eu/Find medicine/Human medicines/European public assessment reports. For more information about treatment with Taxotere, read the package leaflet (also part of the EPAR) or contact your doctor or pharmacist.
This summary was last updated in