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The Prostate Cancer Prevention Trial

  • Updated: 02/02/2011

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The information and links on this page are no longer being updated and are provided for reference purposes only.

Related Pages

  • The SELECT Prostate Cancer Prevention Trial
    A collection of material about SELECT (Selenium and Vitamin E Cancer Prevention Trial), which sought to determine whether these two dietary supplements could protect against prostate cancer.
  • Prostate Cancer Home Page
    NCI's gateway for information about prostate cancer.
  • Prostate Cancer (PDQ®): Prevention
    Expert-reviewed information summary about factors that may influence the risk of developing prostate cancer and about research aimed at the prevention of this disease. (Health professional version.)


The Prostate Cancer Prevention Trial, or PCPT, is a study designed to see whether the drug finasteride (trade name Proscar) can prevent prostate cancer in men ages 55 and older. (See a summary of the protocol.)

Prostate Cancer Prevention TrialIn June 2003, the PCPT was stopped early because of a clear finding that finasteride reduced the incidence of prostate cancer. However, those trial participants who did develop prostate cancer while taking finasteride experienced a slightly higher incidence of high-grade tumors. Researchers analyzing the data have shown that because men taking finasteride have a reduced prostate size, this contributes to finding more high-grade tumors on biopsy. Additionally, researchers also found that high-grade cancer was detected earlier and in a less extensive stage in the finasteride group than in the placebo group.

Specimens from the PCPT biorepository are also available for research by qualified investigators.  A Request For Applications (RFA) for access to these specimens is now online at

The links on the left of this page will take you to more detailed information about the trial and its results so far.

Prostate cancer is a critical public health problem: more than 200,000 men are diagnosed with prostate cancer in the United States each year and around 30,000 die of the disease.

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