Finasteride (Proscar) Associated with Boost in Detection of High-Grade Prostate Cancer

September 13, 2007

DENVER -- The increase in high-grade prostate cancer seen among men taking finasteride (Proscar) is probably caused by increased detection, two groups of researchers said.

DENVER, Sept. 13 -- The increase in high-grade prostate cancer seen among men taking finasteride (Proscar) is probably caused by increased detection, two groups of researchers said.

Although a seven-year study reported in 2003 showed that finasteride reduced the occurrence of prostate cancer by 24.8%, compared with placebo, it also showed that finasteride patients had a significant increase in the rate of lesions with Gleason scores of 7 or higher.

Now the researchers have reported online in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute that the finding of high-grade lesions, which alarmed many physicians and patients, was mainly a result of better detection among finasteride patients.

Both studies used data from the original study, expanded to include several hundred participants whose outcome status wasn't known at the time of the original report.

According to M. Scott Lucia, M.D., of the University of Colorado Health Sciences Center and colleagues, degenerative hormonal changes in high-grade biopsies were equivalent between the groups, but prostate volumes were significantly smaller (at P