Care During Chemotherapy and Beyond
(ca baz i TAKS el)
Trade Name(s): Jevtana®
Cabazitaxel is the generic name for the trade name drug Jevtana®. In some cases,
health care professionals may use the trade name Jevtana® when referring to the
generic drug name cabazitaxel.
Cabazitaxel is an anti-cancer ("antineoplastic" or "cytotoxic") chemotherapy drug.
This medication is classified as a "taxane derivative" and an "anti-microtubule
agent." (For more detail, see "How Cabazitaxel Works" below)
What Cabazitaxel Is Used For:
- Cabazitaxel is approved for treatment [in combination with prednisone] for treatment
of patients with castrate resistant metastatic prostate cancer previously treated
with a docetaxel-containing treatment regimen.
Note: If a drug has been approved for one use, physicians may elect to use this
same drug for other problems if they believe it may be helpful.
How Cabazitaxel Is Given:
- Cabazitaxel is given through a vein (intravenously, IV)
- There is no pill form of cabazitaxel
- You will take a corticosteroid pill, prednisone, twice a day, every day while being
treated with cabazitaxel.
- You will be given pre-medications about 30 minutes prior to each cabazitaxel infusion.
This is to decrease the risk of having a reaction to the cabazitaxel.
The amount of cabazitaxel that you will receive depends on many factors, including
your height and weight, your general health or other health problems, and the type
of cancer or condition you have. Your doctor will determine your exact dosage and
Cabazitaxel Side Effects:
Important things to remember about the side effects of cabazitaxel:
- Most people will not experience all of the cabazitaxel side effects listed.
- Cabazitaxel side effects are often predictable in terms of their onset, duration,
- Cabazitaxel side effects are often reversible and are likely to improve after therapy
- Cabazitaxel side effects may be quite manageable. There are many options to minimize
or prevent the side effects of cabazitaxel.
- There is no relationship between the presence or severity of side effects and the
efficacy of the medication
The following side effects are common (occurring in greater than 30%) for
patients taking Cabazitaxel:
The following side effects are less common (occurring in 10-29%) side effects for
patients receiving cabazitaxel:
Infusion-related side effects (symptoms which may occur while the drug is going
into the vein) include:
- Allergic reactions (rash, flushing, fever, lowered blood pressure). This happens
rarely, usually occurs the first or second infusion. Premedication as described
above reduces the frequency of this reaction. You will be closely monitored during
the infusion for any signs of allergic reaction.
- Infusion site reactions: consist of darkening of the vein, redness of the skin,
swelling of the vein, or pain
Not all side effects are listed above. Side effects that are very rare -- occurring
in less than about 10 percent of patients -- are not listed here. But you should
always inform your health care provider if you experience any unusual symptoms.
When To Contact Your Doctor or Health Care Provider:
Contact your health care provider immediately, day or night, if you should
experience any of the following symptoms:
- Fever of 100.4° F (38° C) or higher, chills (possible signs of infection)
The following symptoms require medical attention, but are not an emergency. Contact
your health care provider within 24 hours of noticing any of the following:
- Nausea (interferes with ability to eat and unrelieved with prescribed medication)
- Vomiting (vomiting more than 4-5 times in a 24 hour period)
- Diarrhea (4-6 episodes in a 24-hour period)
- Unusual bleeding or bruising
- Black or tarry stools, or blood in your stools
- Extreme fatigue (unable to carry on self-care activities)
- Yellowing of the skin or eyes
- Shortness of breath
- Significant changes in urination (decreased amounts of urine output)
Always inform your health care provider if you experience any unusual symptoms.
- Before starting cabazitaxel treatment, make sure you tell your doctor about
any other medications you are taking (including prescription, over-the-counter,
vitamins, herbal remedies, etc.). Do not take aspirin, products containing aspirin
unless your doctor specifically permits this.
- Do not receive any kind of immunization or vaccination without your doctor’s approval
while taking cabazitaxel.
- You should refrain from taking St.John's Wort.
- Avoid drinking grapefruit juice or eating grapefruit.
- Currently, cabazitaxel is approved for the treatment of castrate resistant metastatic
prostate cancer only (male population). However, there are no well-controlled studies
regarding cabazitaxel use in pregnant women. Cabazitaxel may cause fetal harm if
administered during pregnancy. Pregnant women should avoid exposure to cabazitaxel.
- For both men and women: Use contraceptives, and do not conceive a child (get pregnant)
while taking cabazitaxel. Barrier methods of contraception, such as condoms, are
Cabazitaxel Self-Care Tips:
- You may be at risk of infection so try to avoid crowds or people with colds, and
report fever or any other signs of infection immediately to your health care provider.
- Wash your hands often.
- Use an electric razor and a soft toothbrush to minimize bleeding.
- Avoid contact sports or activities that could cause injury.
- To reduce nausea, take anti-nausea medications as prescribed by your doctor, and
eat small, frequent meals.
- It is very important to take your prednisone pills as prescribed.
- Follow regimen of anti-diarrhea medication as prescribed by your health care professional.
- Eat foods that may help reduce diarrhea (see
managing side effects - diarrhea).
- Avoid sun exposure. Wear SPF 15 (or higher) sunblock and protective clothing.
- In general, drinking alcoholic beverages should be kept to a minimum or avoided
completely. You should discuss this with your doctor.
- Elderly patients may be at risk for more frequent of severe side effects.
- Get plenty of rest.
- Maintain good nutrition. (see eating well during chemotherapy)
- If you experience symptoms or side effects, be sure to discuss them with your health
care team. They can prescribe medications and/or offer other suggestions that are
effective in managing such problems.
Monitoring and Testing While Taking Cabazitaxel:
You will be checked regularly by your doctor while you are taking cabazitaxel, to
monitor side effects and check your response to therapy. Periodic blood work will
be obtained to monitor your complete blood count (CBC) as well as the function of
other organs (such as your kidneys and liver) will also be ordered by your doctor.
How Cabazitaxel Works:
Cancerous tumors are characterized by cell division, which is no longer controlled
as it is in normal tissue. "Normal" cells stop dividing when they come into contact
with similar cells, a mechanism known as contact inhibition. Cancerous cells lose
this ability. Cancer cells no longer have the normal checks and balances in place
that control and limit cell division.
The ability of chemotherapy to kill cancer cells depends on its ability to stop
cell division. Usually, the drugs work by damaging the RNA or DNA that tells the
cell how to copy itself in division. If the cells are unable to divide, they die.
The faster the cells are dividing, the more likely it is that chemotherapy will
kill the cells, causing the tumor to shrink.
Chemotherapy is most effective at killing cells that area rapidly dividing. Unfortunately,
chemotherapy does not know the difference between the cancerous cells and the normal
cells. The "normal" cells most commonly affected by chemotherapy are the rapidly
dividing cells in the body such as; the blood cells, the cells in the mouth, stomach,
bowel, and the hair follicles; resulting in low blood counts, mouth sores, nausea,
diarrhea, and/or hair loss. Different drugs may affect different parts of the body.
Cabazitaxel is a microtubule inhibitor. Microtubules are essential to cell division,
and taxanes, such as cabazitaxel, stabilize a particular type of protein in the
microtubule, thereby inhibiting the process of cell division. This prevention of
cell/division/growth ultimately results in cell death.
Note: We strongly encourage you to talk with your health
care professional about your specific medical condition and treatments. The information
contained in this website is meant to be helpful and educational, but is not a substitute
for medical advice.
Chemocare.com is designed to provide the latest information about chemotherapy to patients and their families, caregivers and friends. For information about the 4th Angel Mentoring Program visit www.4thangel.org