The Prostate Cancer Prevention Trial, or PCPT, is a study designed to see whether the drug finasteride (trade name Proscar) can prevent prostate cancer in men ages 55 and older. (See a summary of the protocol.)
In June 2003, the PCPT was stopped early because of a clear finding that finasteride reduced the incidence of prostate cancer. However, those trial participants who did develop prostate cancer while taking finasteride experienced a slightly higher incidence of high-grade tumors. Researchers analyzing the data have shown that because men taking finasteride have a reduced prostate size, this contributes to finding more high-grade tumors on biopsy. Additionally, researchers also found that high-grade cancer was detected earlier and in a less extensive stage in the finasteride group than in the placebo group.
Specimens from the PCPT biorepository are also available for research by other groups. Guidelines on how to get access to the PCPT biospecimens were released in late 2006.
The links on the left of this page will take you to more detailed information about the trial and its results so far.
Prostate cancer is a critical public health problem: more than 220,000 men will be diagnosed with prostate cancer in the United States this year and almost 29,000 will die of the disease.
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