Doing some research for my Dad.

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New Member

Date Joined Jan 2009
Total Posts : 2
   Posted 1/28/2009 3:11 AM (GMT -6)   
My father has stage 4 metastatic hormone resistant prostate cancer.

He had been looking into a trial involving Docetaxel and an experimental drug, but is reconsidering since it seems that the gains in life expectancy may not outweigh the loss of quality of life from the chemo and frequent invasive tests for the study.

I'm getting the information second hand from him, and I'm not sure he always gets it right, but i can't be there with him (Hopefully he can arrange it so that my brother and I can talk to his doctors directly, but he needs to sign something for that to happen)

Has anyone here been on Docetaxel (Taxotere)? What are the side effects like? I've looked up studies online that give an overall survival (OS) as anywhere from 12-24months. Does that mean that the average Docetaxel patient is dead within two years of beginning the treatment or is that 12-24 months past expectations without treatment?

His PSA has been rising dramatically, but I've been reading that in the absence of other symptoms PSA is not a great predictor of mortality? He also recently had a serious urinary tract blockage caused by his prostate, could that be artificially elevating his PSA?

Is there anything that could be added to the Docetaxel to improve is chances that is not a trial? I've heard about Calcitrol being added and having significant effects, anything else?

Thank you for any information you're able to pass on,

Regular Member

Date Joined Jan 2009
Total Posts : 180
   Posted 1/28/2009 8:43 AM (GMT -6)   
Most of the trials involving a taxol are randomized and half of the participants don't get the entire treatment. Personally I would not participate in a randomized trial, I would want the best shot at the most agressive treatment possible. The Docetaxal is approved as a treatment for metastatic hormone refractive disease and is not shown to extend life by more than a few months, this is why it is being combined with other therapies in a clinical trial setting and is why most of these studies are randomized. I have studied abstracts of over 700 clinical trials ongoing currently and more than half of them are pointed at your fathers stage.

There are several other trials involving vaccine treatment and others testing the med Valcade. I suggest you search the NCI database at

Best wishes and good luck. Scott
Diagnosed @ 48yo 04/07
focal, low volume tumor gleason 6
RRP 07/30/07
Persistance of PSA
IMRT 11/07-01/08
Emerg, cysto obstructed bladder 01/08
Persistance of PSA
08/08 learned Dr. left significant amount of prostate
12/08 saturation biopsy 36 cores 24 having normal prostate tissue
12/08 referred whole to med malprac attorney

Veteran Member

Date Joined May 2008
Total Posts : 1010
   Posted 1/28/2009 10:03 AM (GMT -6)   

Hi B.

Sorry to hear about your Dad. You may want to see if you can get him in the trial being conducted by Cougar Pharmaceuticals or perhaps get a compassionate use of the medication. The medication is Aberitarone (Sp?). In stage two trials the drug was shown to be effective in substantially reducing the effects of the disease. I do not recall the statistics on improvement to survival.

Again, very sorry to hear about your Dad. I wish both you and he well.

Take care,


Diagnosed 04/10/08 Age 58 at the time
Gleason 4 + 3
DRE palpable tumor on left side
100% of 12 cores positive for PCa range 35% to 85%
Bone scan clear and chest x ray clear
CT scan shows potential lymph node involvement in pelvic region
Started Casodex on May 2 and stopped on June 1, 2008
Lupron injection on May 15 and every four months for next two years
Started IMRT/IGRT on July 10, 2008. 45 treatments scheduled
First 25 to be full pelvic for a total dose of 45 Gray to lymph nodes.
Last 20 to prostate only. Total dose to prostate 81 Gray.
Completed IMRT/IGRT 09/11/08.
PSA 02/08 21.5 at diagnosis
PSA 07/08 .82 after 8 wks of hormones
PSA 10/08 .642 one month after completion of IMRT, 6 months hormone

Elite Member

Date Joined Oct 2008
Total Posts : 25380
   Posted 1/28/2009 10:06 AM (GMT -6)   
Hello B, so sorry to hear about your father. If you don't mind, what age is your father, and other than the PC, what is his general health? Hope you can find some answers and support here, great bunch of people.

David in SC
Age 56, 56 at DX, PSA 7/7 5.8, 7/8 12.3
3rd Biopsy 9/8 Positive 7 of 7 cores pos, 40-90%, Gleason 7
Open RP surgery 11/14/8, Non-nerve sparing, 4 days hospital, staples out 11/24/8, 5th cath out on 1/19/9
Post-surgery Pathlogy Report:Gleason 3+4=7, pT2c, 42 grm, tumor 20%, Contained in capsular, clear margins, clear lymph nodes 
First PSA Post Surgery   2/9/9

New Member

Date Joined Jan 2009
Total Posts : 2
   Posted 1/28/2009 12:28 PM (GMT -6)   
He's 71, his general health is not great. He is fairly overweight and not physically active, he's been using a cane or walker for a few years now and doesn't get much exercise. Recently, his prostate blocked off his urinary tract which resulted in some pretty serious kidney problems, but after a simple procedure they seem to be doing fine.

His oncologist for some reason didn't believe the his prostate could have enlarged to cause the problem since it had been essentially killed by the hormone treatments, but according to both urologists he saw, and the hospitalist, it was very clearly the problem. I'm wondering if it might have somehow artificially elevated his PSA and his oncologist was too stubborn to look at that possibility.

He has no active tumors, but an older one in his skull has done some damage to his balance and ability to speak and swallow.
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