Alpha inhibitor could slow down prostate cancer

The world-first trial in 289 men with prostate cancer undergoing active surveillance, found those  randomised to dutasteride once daily were less likely to see progression of their tumour compared to patients taking a placebo (38% vs 48%).

And among men in whom low-risk, localised disease progressed to a higher Gleason grade, those on dutasteride had improved tumour profiles (lower percentage of cancer-positive cores and shorter tumour length) compared to the placebo group.

The findings could throw a curve-ball into the debate on PSA screening, observers suggest.

In an editorial accompanying the publication, UK urologist Dr Chris Parker said a safe oral drug that could prevent prostate cancer would be an "attractive proposition" and the study may be heralded by some as a new strategy for dealing with low-risk prostate cancer.

However he cautioned that the GlaxoSmithKline funded study, called the Reduction by Dutasteride of