Docetaxel remains a cornerstone of therapy for the patient with metastatic castration-resistant prostate cancer (CRPC). However, the landscape of CRPC therapy is changing rapidly - recently, data from the phase III TROPIC study revealed a survival advantage with the novel taxane cabazitaxel/prednisone (compared with mitoxantrone/prednisone) in a cohort of 755 men with docetaxel-refractory metastatic CRPC. Interestingly, cabazitaxel bears substantial structural similiarity to docetaxel but appears to be mechanistically distinct. In preclinical studies, the agent has antitumor activity in a variety of docetaxel-refractory in vitro and in vivo models. Subsequent to phase I testing in advanced solid tumors (where neutropenia was identified as a dose-limiting toxicity), the agent was assessed in a phase II trial in advanced, taxane-refractory breast cancer and in the aforementioned phase III TROPIC study. This review describes in detail the preclinical and clinical development of cabazitaxel.