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Finasteride for prostate cancer prevention has no effect on survival, study finds

BMJ 2013; 347 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.f5203 (Published 20 August 2013) Cite this as: BMJ 2013;347:f5203
  1. Michael McCarthy
  1. 1Seattle

A study has confirmed that while finasteride reduces the risk of developing prostate cancer, it also increases the risk of being diagnosed with a higher grade lesion. However, the study also found that overall, the drug seems to have no significant effect on survival.1

The study, published on 15 August in the New England Journal of Medicine, is a follow-up to the Prostate Cancer Prevention Trial, published in 2003. That study found that treatment with finasteride, a 5α-reductase inhibitor commonly used to treat benign prostatic hypertrophy, reduced the risk of prostate cancer.2 But it also found that those who did develop prostate cancer while on the drug appeared, paradoxically, to have a significantly …

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