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GlaxoSmithKline (GSK)'s Dutasteride May Slow Low-Risk Prostate Cancer: Debate Heats Up


1/24/2012 7:39:02 AM

Dutasteride, a drug that is commonly used to treat enlargement of the prostate, might also slow the growth of early-stage prostate cancer and reduce the need for potentially debilitating treatments that carry risks of impotence and incontinence, according to an article published Online First in the Lancet. "Our trial is the first study to show the benefits of use of a 5a-reductase inhibitor to reduce the need for aggressive treatment in men undergoing active surveillance for low-risk prostate cancer…delaying their time to pathological progression and initiation of primary therapy", explains Neil Fleshner from Princess Margaret Hospital, Toronto, Canada, lead author of the study. As many as one in five men in the USA will be diagnosed with prostate cancer, but most will have low-risk (low-volume, low-grade) disease. For these men, active surveillance (conservative management) can be appropriate, and involves forgoing immediate treatment in favour of regular assessment and biopsies to monitor the disease.

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