Finasteride And Flutamide In Prostate Cancer Treatment

Finasteride in the United States is marketed under a variety of names – Proscar, Propecia, Fincar, Finpecia, Finax, Finast, Finara, Finalo, Prosteride, Gefina, Appecia, Finasterid IVAX, and Finasterid Alternova. It is a synthetic antiandrogen that acts by inhibiting type II 5-alpha reductase, the enzyme that aids in the conversion of testosterone to dihydrotestosterone (DHT). DHT is a hormone of the male reproductive system that has been implicated as a factor which promotes the progression of prostate cancer.

Finasteride is used both to treat BPH – benign prostatic hyperplasia ? (in low doses), and for intervention with prostate cancer in higher doses. In May 2008, it was confirmed by a certain study that finasteride actually reduces the rate of occurrence of prostate cancer by as much as 30%. Adding that to the fact that it is also used in the treatment of male pattern baldness (androgenetic alopecia), one can suddenly see that the product has many health benefits.

Flutamide is also an antiandrogen, which is nonsteroidal in action and can be administered orally. It is a drug that is used to treat prostate cancer by competing with testosterone and DHT for binding to androgen receptors in the prostate gland. In this manner, flutamide prevents the two hormones from stimulating prostate cancer cells to grow, thence causing the carcinoma to shrink. Flutamide does have side effects that have resulted in improvements being made on the drug and it being rereleased as bicalutamide, due to a better side-effect profile.

When an experiment was carried out to determine which had better merits between a combined low-dose flutamide and finasteride therapy for recurrent prostate cancer, and a simple low-dose flutamide monotherapy, it was discovered that the “therapeutic value of low-dose flutamide alone or combined with finasteride as first-line agents in a possible graduated approach for treating PSA-only recurrent prostate cancer.”

Stated simply, this translates into the fact that there were no clear results observed. In any case, this was a comparative analysis of two phase II trials of the therapeutic concept with the intention of a long-term follow-up. There were some “unwanted metabolic effects” that were observed during the tests which are generally associated with traditional hormonal agents, but which also determined that phase III trials comparing both regimens with current therapies will be warranted.

The drugs work, but using them together has not been proven yet to be a better therapeutic approach than using then individually.

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