Taxotere(docetaxel) from Sanofi-Aventis has been approved for its treatment by the FDA, following a clinical trial. The study showed that patients given chemotherapy with Taxotere survived an average of 11.4 months without disease progression, as compared to 8.3 months with standard drugs.
The drug will be used before radiation, in combination with cisplatin and fluorouracil chemotherapy in locally advanced squamous cell head and neck cancer. Its side effects are nausea, mouth ulcers, hair loss and depletion of blood cells.
The drug is already in use for treating breast cancer, non small cell lung cancer and prostate cancer and is now approved for treating inoperable types of head and neck cancer.Taxotere was last year's third best selling drug for Sanofi and its sales are likely to rise further following the approval.