Objectives To perform a Phase II trial of docetaxel administered on a weekly schedule for 6 weeks before radical prostatectomy (RP) in patients with locally advanced prostate cancer. Methods Treatment consisted of six doses of docetaxel 40 mg/m2 intravenously administered weekly for 6 weeks followed by RP. Eligibility criteria included clinical Stage T2b, prostate-specific antigen (PSA) level 15 ng/mL or greater or Gleason sum 8 or greater, and no evidence of metastatic disease. The primary endpoint was feasibility and drug-related and surgical-related toxicities. Secondary endpoints included pre-RP PSA level, local response, pathologic outcomes, and time to PSA failure. Results Twenty-nine patients were entered; 80% completed all 6 weeks of therapy and 97% underwent RP. The median PSA level was 12 ng/mL (range 2.5 to 43.3), the median Gleason sum was 8 (range 6 to 9), and all had Stage T2b or greater disease. A statistically significant reduction in the prechemotherapy versus postchemotherapy mean PSA level was observed (12.00 ± 1.86 ng/mL versus 8.42 ± 1.63 ng/mL, P <0.03), with 79% of patients experiencing some reduction and 24% a more than 50% reduction in PSA level in response to docetaxel alone. No unexpected toxicities and no intraoperative complications occurred. Pathologic analysis demonstrated residual carcinoma in all cases. Three patients (11%) had organ-confined disease, and 26 (93%) had achieved an undetectable PSA postoperatively. At a median follow-up of 23 months (range 1.5 to 36), 20 patients were disease free with no additional therapy. Conclusions This trial establishes the baseline effect of short-course high-dose docetaxel alone on locally advanced prostate cancer. Additional study of this paradigm with other agents alone and in combination with docetaxel seems warranted. © 2004 Elsevier Inc.