Docetaxel is an example of the taxane type of chemotherapeutic drug. Within cancer cells, Docetaxel works by interfering with the cell cycle, interfering with structures (known as microtubules, which are) involved in cell multiplication, preventing multiplication of cancer cells, and causing the cancer cells to be destroyed. Also, docetaxel interferes with substances involved in the growth of blood vessels that otherwise could nourish the tumor. Furthermore, docetaxel affects the functioning of the immune system in handling tumors.
Some women with breast cancer of Stage IIIB and higher or recurrent breast cancer receive adjuvant (i.e., post-surgical) treatment with docetaxel alone or in combination with other types of chemotherapeutic drugs. For example, some women with breast cancer of Stage IIIB and higher or recurrent breast cancer receive the combination of docetaxel and either the anthracycline, doxorubicin or the fluoropyridine, capicitabine.