Men in prostate cancer prevention trial more likely to undergo biopsy

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According to new study published in the journal Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers and Prevention, men without prostate cancer taking part in the Prostate Cancer Prevention Trial who participate in other aspects of the trial are most likely to undergo a challenging biopsy.


The randomized, double-blind Prostate Cancer Prevention Trial studied the efficacy of finasteride, a 5-alpha reductase inhibitor, for the prevention of prostate cancer.

Researchers analyzed 13,000 healthy men over a 7-year period to identify which factors were linked with an increased willingness to undergo a biopsy. Researchers identified adherence to finasteride, keeping appointments, undergoing required tests, and good health as factors that increased willingness to undergo the procedure.


Among those who underwent a biopsy, 84% were adherent to finasteride and 98% had the required tests (PSA and digital rectal exam) versus 47% and 75%, respectively, of those who did not undergo a biopsy. They also observed an increased willingness to undergo a biopsy if the study site recruited greater than 200 participants and/or had resources that encouraged continued participation throughout the long-term trial.


Monitoring adherence behaviors can allow researchers to identify those may be less willing to comply with study requirements and create strategies to improve adherence for future studies.

Doctors steer prostate cancer treatment choices
Those who participate in other aspects are most likely to undergo a challenging biopsy.

The Prostate Cancer Prevention Trial was a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial which tested the efficacy of finasteride, a drug used for prostate cancer prevention.

This study was conducted by SWOG – a cancer research cooperative group that designs and conducts multidisciplinary clinical trials.

Researchers at The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center and the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center used a systematic model to identify factors associated with men adhering to the end-of-study (EOS) biopsy requirement of the trial.

The EOS biopsy, an invasive procedure that examines the cells or tissues of the prostate gland to determine if cancer is evident, is an important part of the study.

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