A randomized phase II trial of docetaxel (taxotere) plus thalidomide in androgen-independent prostate cancer

William D. Figg, Phil Arlen, James Gulley, Patricia Fernandez, Marianne Noone, Kathy Fedenko, Mike Hamilton, Catherine Parker, Erwin A. Kruger, James Pluda, William L. Dahut*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

130 Scopus citations


New therapeutic alternatives are needed to improve outcomes in patients with androgen-independent prostate cancer (AIPC). For several years, researchers at the National Cancer Institute have been interested in elucidating the importance of angiogenesis in the pathogenesis of prostate cancer and in identifying inhibitors of this process. Thalidomide has been shown to inhibit the ability of tumors to recruit new blood vessels. In a recent phase II trial of thalidomide in AIPC, 28% of patients achieved a prostate-specific antigen (PSA) decrease of >40%. The taxane docetaxel also produces PSA and measurable disease responses when used as monotherapy or as a component of combination chemotherapy for AIPC. Thus, based on the single-agent activity of thalidomide and docetaxel, we initiated a randomized phase II study of weekly docetaxel with or without thalidomide, 200 mg at bedtime, in patients with chemotherapy-naive metastatic AIPC. Docetaxel, 30 mg/m2 intravenously, was administered every 7 days for 3 weeks, followed by a 1-week rest period. Both regimens have been well tolerated among the first 59 treated patients, with a near absence of grade 3/4 myelosuppression. Fatigue, hyperglycemia, and pulmonary toxicity were seen in both groups. Thrombotic events have been seen in the combination arm. Thirty-five percent (6 of 17) of the patients receiving docetaxel alone and 53% (19 of 36) of those receiving docetaxel and thalidomide have had a PSA decrease of at least 50%. Combining a cytotoxic agent with an angiogenesis inhibitor is a promising area of investigation for prostate cancer management.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)62-66
Number of pages5
JournalSeminars in Oncology
Issue number4 SUPPL. 15
StatePublished - 2001
Externally publishedYes


Dive into the research topics of 'A randomized phase II trial of docetaxel (taxotere) plus thalidomide in androgen-independent prostate cancer'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this