Prostate cancer is very common among men who are over the age of 50 years old.
Some cases are asymptomatic and slowly grow, while other shows symptoms like dysuria and sexual dysfunction and grow rapidly. The cancer cells are also known to metastasize to other organs in the body like in the bones and lymph nodes.
A new drug, dutasteride (Avodart) can reduce the risk of progression of prostate cancer during watchful observation.
It is from the group of 5-alpha reductase inhibitor which inhibits the enzyme responsible for converting testosterone to dihydrotestosterone. This drug was later used to treat benign prostatic hyperplasia.
The viability of the drug was verified through the study conducted by Neil Fleshner, MD, of the University Health Network in Toronto.
The study was composed of more than 300 men between 48 and 82 years old. Low-risk prostate cancer was explained as having a PSA level less than 11 ng/mL and a Gleason score of 6 or lower.
Researchers randomly selected patients to take a placebo or dutasteride (Avodart) and analyzed prostate biopsies taken one and three years after starting the treatment.
After analyzing the final biopsies, researchers discovered that more than 35 percent of men who were taking dutasteride were cancer-free, while only 23 percent of men on the placebo were.
Experts are encouraged by these results and believe it may be a new finding in terms of preventing the onset of severe prostate cancer.