A drug designed to shrink enlarged prostates may also be able to reduce the risk that at-risk men will develop prostate cancer, according to a new study. The drug dutasteride, sold under the brand name Avodart, was found to reduce the risk of cancer by roughly 25%. Researchers report seeing tumors stop growing or even shrink. GlaxoSmithKline says it intends to ask the FDA for permission to market Avodart as a risk reducer.
“The question may be, why isn’t every man taking one of these drugs?” one doctor told the LA Times. “There seems to be very little downside.” Well, here’s a reason: The same study suggests that dutasteride might increase the risk of heart failure. In the test group of 6,700 men, 30 on the drug developed heart failure, compared to 16 on a placebo, the AP reports. (Read more prostate cancer stories.)