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Research Article

Overcoming docetaxel resistance in prostate cancer: a perspective review


The treatment of metastatic castrate-resistant prostate cancer has been historically challenging, with few therapeutic successes. Docetaxel was the first cytotoxic therapy associated with a survival benefit in castrate-resistant prostate cancer. Toxicity is typical of other cytotoxic agents, with myelosuppression being the dose-limiting toxicity and neurotoxicity also a notable side effect for some patients. Unfortunately, a significant proportion of men with castrate-resistant prostate cancer will not respond to docetaxel-based therapy and all patients will ultimately develop resistance. Because it is an effective therapy, docetaxel is likely to remain an important part of the treatment arsenal against metastatic prostate cancer for the foreseeable future, despite its toxicities and limitations. Overcoming docetaxel resistance has been a challenge since docetaxel was first established as front-line therapy for metastatic castrate-resistant prostate cancer. Recent studies have shown that several new drugs, including cabazitaxel and abiraterone, are effective after docetaxel failure, dramatically changing the therapeutic landscape for these patients. In addition, a greater understanding of the mechanisms underlying docetaxel resistance has led to several new treatment approaches which hold promise for the future. This review will discuss recent therapeutic advances in metastatic castrate-resistant prostate cancer as well as ongoing clinical trials.