Docetaxel, a semi-synthetic taxane analogue, is used effectively in the treatment of metastatic prostate cancer. Zoledronic acid, the most potent member of bisphosphonates, has shown pleiotropic anti-tumoral effects on prostate cancer cells. We have explored the possible additive/synergistic effects and the apoptotic pathways induced by combination treatment of docetaxel and zoledronic acid in hormone and drug refractory, PC-3 and DU-145 prostate cancer cells. Combination of docetaxel and zoledronic acid synergistically inhibits cell growth in PC-3 and DU-145 cells. Moreover, this effect was due to downregulation of antiapoptotic protein Bcl-2 in PC-3 and DU-145 cells. In conclusion, docetaxel/zoledronic acid combination is potentially a novel and effective approach for the treatment of prostate cancer. (C) 2008 International Federation for Cell Biology. Published by Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.