FDA-Approved Drugs

The following drugs have been approved since the year 2000 for the treatment of prostate cancer:

Jevtana (cabazitaxel)

FDA approved June 2010

This chemotherapy drug is approved for use in combination with prednisone (a steroid) in patients with hormone-refractory, metastatic prostate cancer who have already been treated with docetaxel.

This drug seems to work in a way similar to docetaxel (inhibiting microtubules, which cancer cells need to divide), but it works in some men whose cancer is no longer responding to docetaxel.

Provenge (sipuleucel-T)

FDA approved May 2010

This drug is a type of autologous cellular immune therapy approved for the treatment of metastatic, hormone-refractory prostate cancer that is causing few or no symptoms.

This new type of treatment is sometimes referred to as a prostate cancer vaccine. For this treatment, special immune cells are removed from a man's blood and sent to a lab, where they are treated to make them more likely to attack prostate cancer cells. A few days later they are put back into the blood (similar to a blood transfusion). It is given in three doses, with about two weeks between doses.

Firmagon (degarelix)

FDA approved December 2008

This drug, an LHRH antagonist, is approved for the palliative treatment of advanced prostate cancer.

Vantas (histrelin acetate)

FDA approved October 2004

This drug, an LHRH agonist, is approved for the palliative treatment of advanced prostate cancer.

Taxotere (docetaxel)

FDA approved May 2004

Injecting this chemotherapy drug in combination with prednisone (a steroid), is approved for the treatment of patients with advanced metastatic prostate cancer. This is the first drug approved for hormone refractory prostate cancer that has shown a survival benefit.

Taxotere works by inhibiting tubulin, a protein essential to cell division, thus preventing cancer cells from dividing and growing in number.

Plenaxis depot (abarelix)

FDA approved November 2003

This drug, an LHRH antagonist, was approved for the palliative treatment of men with advanced symptomatic prostate cancer, in whom LHRH agonist therapy is not appropriate and who refuse surgical castration, and have one or more of the following: (1) risk of neurological compromise due to metastases, (2) ureteral or bladder outlet obstruction due to local encroachment or metastatic disease, or (3) severe bone pain from skeletal metastases persisting on narcotic analgesia.

This drug is no longer available in the United States.

Zometa (zoledronic acid)

FDA approved February 2002

This drug, a bisphosphonate, is approved for the palliative treatment of prostate cancer that has spread to the bones and that has progressed after at least one type of hormone therapy.

Eligard (leuprolide acetate)

FDA approved  January 2002

This drug, an LHRH agonist, is approved for the palliative treatment of advanced prostate cancer. 

Trelstar (triptorelin)

FDA approved June 2000

This drug, an LHRH agonist, is approved for the palliative treatment of advanced prostate cancer.