Drug Seen to Curtail Cancer Left in Prostate

January 24, 2012

The New York Times

Fewer than 10 percent of the 100,000 men each year who get a diagnosis of early-stage prostate cancer and have the option of leaving the cancer in place while watching it actually do so. The rest want to just get rid of it, with surgery or radiation. But those treatments can have serious side effects like impotence and incontinence.

Now a new study suggests there may be a way to slow or stop the cancer’s progress in those who choose not to be treated immediately.

The study, published on Monday in The Lancet, involved a drug, dutasteride, that is marketed to shrink prostates when they enlarge as men grow older. Two previous studies suggested that dutasteride and a similar drug, finasteride, could actually protect men from prostate cancer, but the Food and Drug Administration declined requests to allow the drugs to be marketed for cancer prevention, citing concerns that they may protect against early cancers but spur the growth of dangerous later-stage ones... Read More