Thursday, May 22, 2008

Prostate prevention drug seen in positive new light

From CBC News:
A drug that helps prevent prostate cancer but was once seen as risky is now being painted in a new light.

Finasteride, which belongs to a class of drugs called 5-alpha reductase inhibitors, decreases the body's production of androgen testosterone, a male hormone that causes the prostate to enlarge. In a 2003 study of 18,822 men, it was found to reduce a man's chance of getting prostate cancer by 25 per cent.

However, initially, there were concerns that when men taking the drug developed prostate cancer, the tumours were more advanced than in men with the disease who were not on the drug.

That thinking has changed following a comprehesive re-evaluation of the study. Two studies released last week that will be published in the June issue of Cancer Prevention Research shed new light on finasteride.

"We found that the drug actually worked to reduce the incidence of prostate cancer and more importantly, did not increase the incidence of high-grade cancer," Dr. Steven Kaplan, associate professor of urology at Weill Cornell Medical College, told CBC News. ...more

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