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Men less likely to experience progression of early-stage disease if receiving drug instead of placebo

Wednesday, February 16, 2011 (Last Updated: 02/17/2011)

WEDNESDAY, Feb. 16 (HealthDay News) -- Dutasteride (Avodart) may be effective for slowing the growth of early-stage prostate cancer among men participating in active surveillance, according to research presented at the 2011 Genitourinary Cancers Symposium, held from Feb. 17 to 19 in Orlando, Fla.

In the Reduction by Dutasteride of Clinical Progression Events in Expectant Management of Prostate Cancer study, Neil Fleshner, M.D., of the University Health Network and Princess Margaret Hospital in Toronto, and colleagues randomized 302 men with early-stage prostate cancer, who were being followed with active surveillance, to dutasteride or placebo for three years.

Compared to men receiving placebo, the investigators found that those taking dutasteride had a longer time to cancer progression. Among those being given dutasteride, 54 men (38 percent) experienced some progression of their cancer, versus 71 men (49 percent) receiving placebo. The investigators also found that there was a reduced relative risk for cancer progression of 38.9 percent among those receiving dutasteride. Fifty men (36 percent) receiving dutasteride and 31 men (23 percent) receiving placebo had no cancer detected on their final biopsy.

"Even though men realize that if they reach a certain age, many will have some sort of prostate cancer that likely will never give them problems, there is still anxiety associated with monitoring and not treating it," Fleshner said in a statement.

Several study authors disclosed financial relationships with GlaxoSmithKline, the maker of dutasteride.

Abstract No. 2
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Specialties Hematology & Oncology

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