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Health Agencies Update
July 16, 2003

Finasteride Can Reduce Prostate Cancer Risk

JAMA. 2003;290(3):324. doi:10.1001/jama.290.3.324-a

Daily doses of finasteride—a drug known for its ability to regrow hair—reduced the incidence of prostate cancer by 25% in men aged 55 years or older, according to data from a large trial sponsored by the National Cancer Institute, Bethesda, Md.

The study appeared June 24 in the New England Journal of Medicine's online edition (http://content.nejm.org/).

Originally scheduled to last through May 2004, the Prostate Cancer Prevention Trial stopped in March after the data monitoring committee recommended an early halt based on the good results. Some 19 000 men participated; half received 5 mg of finasteride daily, half received placebo. After 7 years of monitoring, pathologists (who were blinded to the intervention) analyzed biopsied prostate tissue from the volunteers.