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.)
In 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 http://swog.org/visitors/pcpt.
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.