Chemoprevention of Prostate Cancer

  • Bertrand Tombal


As the adult population is increasing, prostate cancer (PCa) will become a considerable health problem in the next millennium. This has raised the public interest in potential chemoprevention of this disease. As PCa is extremely common and generally slow to progress, it is regarded as an ideal candidate for chemoprevention. At present, 5 alpha-reductase inhibitors finasteride and dutasteride have been identified as preventive agents that effectively reduced PCa incidence. However, this was limited to Gleason score ≤6 and associated with an apparent increase in the detection of higher-grade cancers, hindering registration in that indication. In parallel, Selenium (Se), α-tocopherol, isoflavones, lycopene, and green tea polyphenols have been studied for decreasing the risk of PCa. Although encouraging observations have been made, most of the large studies show negative results. Differences in study design, sample size, doses administered and/or concentrations achieved in the body may be the reason for these inconsistencies. Although larger randomized controlled studies are needed and epidemiologic evidence should be placed in a clinical context, physicians must be aware of these preventive opportunities in PCa care. Combinations of chemopreventive agents should be carefully investigated because mechanisms of action may be additive or synergistic.


Androgen Receptor Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia Androgen Deprivation Therapy Digital Rectal Examination Prostate Cancer Prevention Trial 
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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Service d’UrologieCliniques universtaires Saint Luc, Université catholique de LouvainBrusselsBelgium

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