TC (Taxotere and cyclophosphamide) is a common chemotherapy regimen given for localized breast cancers that require chemotherapy.

It is a combination of two chemotherapy medicines:

Docetaxel is a type of chemotherapy medicine called an taxane.

Cyclophosphamide is a type of chemotherapy medicine called an alkylating agent.


How TC works

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

Cyclophosphamide 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 TC

TC is one option used to treat people with localized breast cancer that requires chemotherapy. Unlike some other regimens given for localized breast cancer, TC does not contain an anthracycline. If you have heart health issues, your providers may offer this regimen since anthracyclines like doxorubicin (Adriamycin) cannot be given to people with heart problems.

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


How TC is given

TC can be given after surgery as adjuvant therapy, or before as neoadjuvant therapy.

Both medicines are usually given by vein on the same day, followed by a 20-day rest period, making each cycle 3 weeks long. Four cycles are usually given for a total treatment period of 3 months on average.


Side effects & things to remember

Different medicines have different side effects. You may not have every side effect related to each medicine of the combination therapy.

Common side effects of TC include:

Less common side effects include:

Before starting TC, tell your doctor about any medicines you are taking, including vitamins, herbal supplements, and over-the-counter medicines, to make sure they won’t interfere with your chemotherapy treatment.

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

Talk to your doctor, pharmacist or nurse 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.


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Reviewed and updated: August 31, 2015

Reviewed by: Laura M. Spring MD


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Living Beyond Breast Cancer is a national nonprofit organization that seeks to create a world that understands there is more than one way to have breast cancer. To fulfill its mission of providing trusted information and a community of support to those impacted by the disease, Living Beyond Breast Cancer offers on-demand emotional, practical, and evidence-based content. For over 30 years, the organization has remained committed to creating a culture of acceptance — where sharing the diversity of the lived experience of breast cancer fosters self-advocacy and hope. For more information, learn more about our programs and services.