TAC: Taxotere, Adriamycin and Cyclophosphamide

Updated 
August 31, 2015
Reviewed By: 

TAC (Taxotereinfo-icon, Adriamycin and Cyclophosphamideinfo-icon) is a chemotherapyinfo-icon regimeninfo-icon that can be given for localizedinfo-icon breast cancers with a relatively high risk of recurrenceinfo-icon.

It is a combination of three chemotherapy medicines:

Docetaxelinfo-icon is a type of chemotherapy medicineinfo-icon called an taxaneinfo-icon. Doxorubicininfo-icon is a type of chemotherapy medicine called an anthracycline. Cyclophosphamide is a type of chemotherapy medicine called an alkylating agent.

How TAC Works

Docetaxelinfo-icon works by damaging the structure or the “skeleton” that supports cancer cells. This stops the cancer cells from growing and dividing.

Doxorubicininfo-icon damages the DNA inside the cancer cells. The damage stops the cells from dividing, which causes them to die.

Cyclophosphamideinfo-icon attaches to and damages the DNA in cancer cells when they are in their resting phase (not dividing). After their DNA is damaged, the cells can’t keep dividing, and their growth slows or stops.

Who Gets TAC

TAC can be used to treat localizedinfo-icon breast cancers that require chemotherapyinfo-icon. It may also used to treat breast cancers that return, depending on the treatments you received in the past.

You and your doctor will discuss the best chemotherapy treatment for your situation.

How TAC is Given

TAC can be given after surgeryinfo-icon as adjuvant therapyinfo-icon, or before surgery as neoadjuvant therapyinfo-icon.

All three medicines are usually given by veininfo-icon on the first day of each cycle of treatment, followed by a 20-day rest period, making each cycle 3 weeks long. TAC is usually given for six cycles, for an average total treatment time of 18 weeks.

Side Effects and Things to Remember

Different medicines have different side effects. You may not have every side effectinfo-icon related to each medicineinfo-icon of the combination therapyinfo-icon.

Common side effects of TAC include:

Less common side effects include:

Before starting TAC, be sure to tell your doctor about any medicines you are taking, including vitamins, herbal supplements and over-the-counterinfo-icon medicines, to make sure they won’t interfere with your chemotherapyinfo-icon treatment.

You should avoid becoming pregnant while you are receiving TAC. Tell your doctor right away if you become pregnant while you are undergoing treatment.

Talk to your doctor, pharmacistinfo-icon or nurseinfo-icon about all your side effects so that they can help you manage them. You can also go to our section on Side Effects for more information.

More In Chemotherapy

Article August 31, 2015
Article August 31, 2015
Article August 31, 2015