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J Urol. 2009 Apr;181(4):1642-57. doi: 10.1016/j.juro.2009.01.071. Epub 2009 Feb 26.

Use of 5alpha-reductase inhibitors for prostate cancer chemoprevention: American Society of Clinical Oncology/American Urological Association 2008 Clinical Practice Guideline.

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  • 1National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, MD, USA.



To develop an evidence-based guideline on the use of 5-alpha-reductase inhibitors (5-ARIs) for prostate cancer chemoprevention.


The American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) Health Services Committee (HSC), ASCO Cancer Prevention Committee, and the American Urological Association Practice Guidelines Committee jointly convened a Panel of experts, who used the results from a systematic review of the literature to develop evidence-based recommendations on the use of 5-ARIs for prostate cancer chemoprevention.


The systematic review completed for this guideline identified 15 randomized clinical trials that met the inclusion criteria, nine of which reported prostate cancer period prevalence.


Asymptomatic men with a prostate-specific antigen (PSA) </=3.0 ng/mL who are regularly screened with PSA or are anticipating undergoing annual PSA screening for early detection of prostate cancer may benefit from a discussion of both the benefits of 5-ARIs for 7 years for the prevention of prostate cancer and the potential risks (including the possibility of high-grade prostate cancer). Men who are taking 5-ARIs for benign conditions such as lower urinary tract [obstructive] symptoms (LUTS) may benefit from a similar discussion, understanding that the improvement of LUTS relief should be weighed with the potential risks of high-grade prostate cancer from 5-ARIs (although the majority of the Panel members judged the latter risk to be unlikely). A reduction of approximately 50% in PSA by 12 months is expected in men taking a 5-ARI; however, because these changes in PSA may vary across men, and within individual men over time, the Panel cannot recommend a specific cut point to trigger a biopsy for men taking a 5-ARI. No specific cut point or change in PSA has been prospectively validated in men taking a 5-ARI.

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