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"Early prostate cancer growth may slow with drug"


Source: CBC.CA

Published: 16 Feb 2022

Category: Pharmaceutical

Rating: (2½ stars)

Keywords: prostate cancer oncology avodart proscar

what they said (Hover the mouse cursor over underlined words for more info)

Men with early, low-risk prostate cancer could avoid being overtreated for a disease that in most cases will never threaten their lives, a new study suggests.

It found that a drug can slow the growth of these tumours in men who opt to be monitored instead of having treatment right away...

The original article can be found at:

how did it rate? (more information)

Criteria Rating
Total Score 4 of 9
Availability of Treatment Not Satisfactory (?)
Novelty of Treatment Satisfactory (?)
Disease Mongering Satisfactory (?)
Treatment Options Not Satisfactory (?)
Costs of Treatment Not Satisfactory (?)
Evidence Not Satisfactory (?)
Quantification of Benefits of Treatment Satisfactory (?)
Harms of Treatment Not Satisfactory (?)
Sources of Information Satisfactory (?)
Relies on Press Release Not Applicable
Quantification of Harms of Treatment Not Applicable

what we said (Hover the mouse cursor over underlined words for more info)

This is a report features a study using dutasteride to prevent the progression of cancers. Despite significant information gaps, reports like this one may cause men (diagnosed with low-grade prostate cancer) to jump at the chance to take this drug.

It is important to recognize that the vast majority of men who are diagnosed with prostate cancer will not die from it. Since this group of men is a key population for dutasteride, it can be hard to decipher the benefit of the treatment. How accurate is your measurement of 'delay of death' when death is not likely to happen?

The article suggests that the drug has the potential to make "watchful waiting" safer. However, this claim is not supported by evidence, especially in light of the lack of adverse events data presented in the report. In addition, we don't learn much about the study design, and are provided little explanation for the following statement: "prostate cancer got worse in 38 per cent of men taking Avodart and 49 per cent of those on dummy pills".

Although there were some significant gaps in this reporting, it should be noted that this did a good job reporting the ties between the various spokespeople and the research funder/manufacturer of the drug.

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