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J Urol. 2004 Feb;171(2 Pt 2):S10-3; discussion S13-4.

Chemotherapeutic prevention studies of prostate cancer.

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Department of Urology, Prostate Disease Center, Ludwig Boltzmand Institute for Prostatic disease, University of Vienna, Wahringer Gurtel 18-20, 1090, Austria.



Despite advances in the detection and management of prostate cancer, this disease remains a major cause of morbidity and mortality in men. Increasing attention has focused on the role of chemoprevention for prostate cancer, ie the administration of agents that inhibit 1 or more steps in the natural history of prostate carcinogenesis. We review prostate cancer chemoprevention studies in Europe.


Published studies were identified in a search of MEDLINE. Information about ongoing studies was provided by author access to protocols.


A variety of chemoprevention studies have focused on the role of dietary factors, vitamins and trace elements in prostate cancer. Some of these studies have been prospective, randomized and double-blinded, while others have used retrospective or epidemiological approaches. Large scale randomized studies are also evaluating the role of 5alpha-reductase inhibitors, which inhibit the conversion of testosterone to the more potent androgen dihydrotestosterone.


Robust evidence is lacking for the value of chemopreventive agents in prostate cancer. Current evidence does suggest that vitamin E and selenium may have a role in prostate cancer chemoprevention. Data from 2 studies, 1 examining the type 1 5alpha-reductase selective inhibitor finasteride and the other using the dual 5alpha-reductase inhibitor dutasteride, will determine the benefits of androgen inhibition strategies for prostate cancer chemoprevention.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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