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New data show benefit of finasteride in preventing prostate cancer
Date:5/18/2008

PHILADELPHIA A comprehensive re-evaluation of the largest prostate cancer prevention study ever completed produced new findings suggesting that men and their doctors should consider a more aggressive approach that includes finasteride to prevent the development of prostate cancer.

A pathologic analysis of that same study sheds light on the significance of the cancers found in that study. Additionally, this study highlights the role of prostate specific antigen (PSA) scores in treatment decision-making. Researchers found that even those men who have a low PSA screening value can have cancer that is difficult to cure.

The two studies will be published online in advanced of the June 2008 issue of Cancer Prevention Research, a journal of the American Association for Cancer Research.

The original study, the Prostate Cancer Prevention Trial (PCPT), had randomized 18,822 men to receive either a placebo or an agent known as finasteride, currently approved to control prostate growth, for seven years. Results showed that while finasteride reduced prostate cancer risk by 25 percent, it appeared to increase development of more aggressive prostate cancer in some men. Because of this finding and concerns that tumors detected had low PSA values and might be of little risk to patients, since the studys original publication in 2003, few doctors have recommended finasteride for prostate cancer prevention.

From a new analysis of PCPT data using advanced statistical modeling techniques and a complete assessment of prostate tissue biopsies, they concluded that these concerns are now resolved: finasteride actually reduced the risk of developing prostate cancer more than researchers had originally thought, did not increase development of more aggressive cancers, and the majority of tumors prevented were those that could spread and cause death.

These new findings suggest that men should take an individualized approach to prostate ca
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Contact: Jeremy Moore
Jeremy.moore@aacr.org
267-646-0557
American Association for Cancer Research
Source:Eurekalert

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