Cabazitaxel is active, though with a high risk of adverse events, as a second- and third-line treatment of docetaxel-resistant non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC), according to a study published in the British Journal of Cancer.1

Cabazitaxel, a semi-synthetic taxane, is effective against docetaxel-resistant cancer cell lines, and is approved as a treatment for prostate cancer. For this phase 2 study, researchers evaluated whether cabazitaxel can be used for patients with docetaxel-resistant NSCLC, the prognosis for which is poor.

Forty-six patients were enrolled; median age was 64 years; 8 patients received cabazitaxel as a second-line treatment, and 38 as a third-line treatment.

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Six patients achieved a partial response, the disease was stabilized among 17, and the disease progressed for 20 patients. No complete response was observed. Median progression-free survival was 2.1 months; median overall survival was 7.4 months.

Adverse events were common, and sometimes serious. One patient died from drug toxicity.

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Despite the small number of study participants, low survival rates, and frequency of adverse events, the researchers conclude that further study of cabazitaxel in this patient population is warranted. The low response rate to immunotherapy among patients with chemotherapy-resistant NSCLC suggests a need for new treatments.


  1. Kotsakis A, Matikas A, Koinis F, et al. A multicentre phase II trial of cabazitaxel in patients with advanced non-small-cell lung cancer progressing after docetaxel-based chemotherapy. Br J Cancer. 2016 Sep 8. doi:10.1038/bjc.2016.281 [Epub ahead of print]