Prevention of Prostate Cancer with Finasteride: US/European Perspective

Ian M Thompson, Eric A. Klein, Scott M. Lippman, Charles A. Coltman, Bob Djavan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

76 Scopus citations


Purpose: Prostate cancer is the most common male cancer, affecting one man in six. Prevention of this disease, even in a subset of patients would have a significant impact on public health. The results of the National Cancer Institute-sponsored Prostate Cancer Prevention Trial demonstrate that finasteride causes a substantial risk reduction across all known risk groups. We herein amplify on the results of this trial to assist patients and physicians in reaching individualized decisions. Materials and Methods: The results of the Prostate Cancer Prevention Trial were reviewed. Results: The PCPT demonstrated a 24.8% reduction in prostate cancer risk with the administration of finasteride. High-grade cancers were noted in 6.4% of finasteride patients compared to 5.1% of men receiving placebo. The increase in high-grade tumors was seen within one year of finasteride exposure and did not increase over time. This observation, combined with previous evidence demonstrating an alteration in cytologic and architectural features of prostate cancer with hormonal therapy suggests that the differences in high-grade disease may be an artifact and that application of Gleason grading to these tumors may not be appropriate. Discussion: Men should be presented the benefits and risks of taking finasteride and be assisted in integrating their sexual and urinary symptoms into their decision-making process. Blanket statements for or against the use of this medication ignore patient preferences and differential risk-benefit profiles from finasteride.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)650-655
Number of pages6
JournalEuropean Urology
Issue number6
StatePublished - Dec 2003
Externally publishedYes


  • Finasteride
  • Prevention
  • Prostate cancer

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Urology


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