submenu edu secondopinionChemotherapy is just one of many options approved for the treatment of advanced prostate cancer.  Depending on the burden or extent of disease, one should discuss the use of chemotherapy with their doctor to determine optimal timing.  Studies have shown that chemotherapy has significant survival benefits when used earlier in patients with metastatic disease.

Once chemotherapy is started, many men experience improvement in their prostate cancer symptoms.  Improvements often include reduced pain and an improved quality of life.

The decision on when to start chemotherapy is difficult and highly individualized based on several factors:
*    What other treatment options or clinical trials are available?
*    How aggressive is the cancer?
*    What prior therapies have been received?
*    Is radiation needed prior to chemotherapy to relieve pain?

-1. Prostate Cancer Foundation Patient Guide 12.19.19.

Hormone therapy plus chemotherapy 

Research shows that for patients that have advanced prostate cancer with a high volume of disease and are starting hormone therapy for the first time, the addition of docetaxel chemotherapy to the treatment plan extends overall survival by 17 months.
-1. Prostate Cancer Foundation Patient Guide 12.19.19.

Things To Know

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  • Chemotherapy is the use of drugs to stop tumor growth by destroying cancer cells and preventing them from growing.
  • Chemotherapy is administered to patients whose cancer has spread beyond the prostate and may be given with ADT or after hormone therapy stops working.
  • While chemotherapy does not cure prostate cancer, it has been shown to reduce symptoms and prolong life for patients with metastatic disease.
  • Maintain an open mind despite concerns about chemotherapy's infamy.
  • Docetaxel and cabazitaxel can extend life, reduce pain, and improve quality of life.
  • Clinical trials of chemo combinations and other therapies are a high priority.
  • Currently, taxane chemotherapy, given with prednisone, is the standard of care for men with metastatic prostate cancer that has spread and is continuing to grow even though they had hormone therapy treatment.
  • Taxane chemotherapy agents approved for the treatment of advanced prostate cancer include docetaxel (Taxotere®) and cabazitaxel (Jevtana®).
  • Taxane chemotherapy is also effective in prolonging life in patients who have a high burden of cancer on scans when starting hormonal therapy for the first time for metastatic disease.
  • Initiating chemotherapy prior to the onset of pain is optimal, with the goal of preventing the cancer from spreading further to other sites.

-1. Prostate Cancer Foundation Patient Guide 12.19.19.

What to Expect From Chemotherapy PDF



“For the first month or two, I continued to swim, though not as much as I had been. I assumed that if I stayed active it would help me through the chemo. I was never incapacitated in that sense. There were a few days where either I didn’t feel well or was really tired, so I didn’t go out and pound the pavement or anything.”

Prostatepedia Interview 8/28/18