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The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved a new one-vial formulation of the chemotherapeutic agent docetaxel (Taxotere?, Sanofi-aventis). The 1-vial Taxotere is anticipated to become available to cancer treatment clinics and hospitals nationwide in the fall in both 80 mg and 20 mg dosages.

Introduced more than 14 years ago, docetaxel is approved by the FDA for use in treating patients at specific stages of 5 types of cancer: metastatic and adjuvant breast cancer, metastatic androgen independent prostate cancer, advanced non-small cell lung cancer, advanced gastric adenocarcinoma and locally advanced squamous cell carcinoma of the head and neck.

“This new formulation underscores the commitment sanofi-aventis has made to Taxotere and to healthcare professionals. We look forward to adding this formulation of Taxotere to the arsenal of oncology products sanofi-aventis offers to the cancer community,” said Paul Hawthorne, Vice President and Head of the Oncology Business Unit at sanofi-aventis U.S.

The most common adverse reactions across all Taxotere? indications are infections, neutropenia, anemia, febrile neutropenia, hypersensitivity, thrombocytopenia, neuropathy, dysgeusia, dyspnea, constipation, anorexia, nail disorders, fluid retention, asthenia, pain, nausea, diarrhea, vomiting, mucositis, alopecia, skin reactions and myalgia.

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Previously, docetaxel was available to health care professionals in a two vial formulation ? one vial containing docetaxel concentrate and the other with the diluent. The 1-vial Taxotere eliminates the need for the initial dilution step with the diluent. The 1-vial Taxotere, now at 20mg/ml concentration, is ready to be added directly into the infusion solution. The new 1-vial Taxotere is expected to help simplify preparation by eliminating the dilution step.

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With 1-vial Taxotere, the pharmaceutical ingredients of the drug and the one hour IV infusion administration to the patient remain the same. Docetaxel has been used worldwide to treat more than 1.5 million patients, 100,000 of whom were participants in clinical trials.

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