Finasteride concentrations and prostate cancer risk: Results from the prostate cancer prevention trial

Cindy H. Chau, Douglas K. Price, Cathee Till, Phyllis J. Goodman, Xiaohong Chen, Robin J. Leach, Teresa L. Johnson-Pais, Ann W. Hsing, Ashraful Hoque, Catherine M. Tangen, Lisa Chu, Howard L. Parnes, Jeannette M. Schenk, Juergen K.V. Reichardt, Ian M. Thompson, William D. Figg

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

27 Scopus citations


Objective: In the Prostate Cancer Prevention Trial (PCPT), finasteride reduced the risk of prostate cancer by 25%, even though high-grade prostate cancer was more common in the finasteride group. However, it remains to be determined whether finasteride concentrations may affect prostate cancer risk. In this study, we examined the association between serum finasteride concentrations and the risk of prostate cancer in the treatment arm of the PCPT and determined factors involved in modifying drug concentrations. Methods: Data for this nested case-control study are from the PCPT. Cases were drawn from men with biopsy-proven prostate cancer and matched controls. Finasteride concentrations were measured using a liquid chromatography-mass spectrometry validated assay. The association of serum finasteride concentrations with prostate cancer risk was determined by logistic regression. We also examine whether polymorphisms in the enzyme target and metabolism genes of finasteride are related to drug concentrations using linear regression. Results and Conclusions: Among men with detectable finasteride concentrations, there was no association between finasteride concentrations and prostate cancer risk, low-grade or high-grade, when finasteride concentration was analyzed as a continuous variable or categorized by cutoff points. Since there was no concentration-dependent effect on prostate cancer, any exposure to finasteride intake may reduce prostate cancer risk. Of the twenty-seven SNPs assessed in the enzyme target and metabolism pathway, five SNPs in two genes, CYP3A4 (rs2242480; rs4646437; rs4986910), and CYP3A5 (rs15524; rs776746) were significantly associated with modifying finasteride concentrations. These results suggest that finasteride exposure may reduce prostate cancer risk and finasteride concentrations are affected by genetic variations in genes responsible for altering its metabolism pathway.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere0126672
JournalPLoS ONE
Issue number5
StatePublished - 1 May 2015
Externally publishedYes


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