Long-Term Survival of Participants in the Prostate Cancer Prevention Trial

SUMMARY: In the landmark Prostate Cancer Prevention Trial (PCPT), Finasteride (PROSCAR®) reduced the risk of Prostate Cancer development and therefore the symptoms associated with it by 33%, compared to Placebo. However, in those who did develop Prostate Cancer while on PROSCAR®, there was an increased risk of high grade tumors. After 18 years of follow up of these patients, it appears that in spite of this set back, there was no difference in the overall survival between the PROSCAR® group and the placebo group. The U.S. Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) has been against Prostate Cancer screening, as the consensus is that majority of the Prostate Cancers detected by screening would never become apparent in an individual’s lifetime, if this individual was not screened and therefore would never cause a problem. This long term data begs a very important question – Is it worthwhile taking PROSCAR® for Prostate Cancer prevention? Thompson IM, Goodman PJ, Tangen CM, et al. N Engl J Med 2013;369:603-610