The potential for hormonal prevention trials

Leslie G. Ford, Otis W. Brawley, Jeffrey A. Perlman, Susan G. Nayfield, Karen A. Johnson, Barnett S. Kramer

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

15 Scopus citations


Breast and prostate cancer are significant causes of morbidity and mortality and are very similar in etiology, epidemiology, and modalities of treatment. Investigational strategies in the prevention of these malignancies also have strong parallels. The National Cancer Institute is sponsoring several large scale clinical trials involving hormonal manipulation and cancer prevention. In the Breast Cancer Prevention Trial, 16,000 women at high risk for breast cancer are being randomized to receive the antiestrogen agent tamoxifen or placebo for 5 years in an effort to determine if breast cancer development can be inhibited. In a similar trial, the Prostate Cancer Prevention Trial, 18,000 men older than 55 years of age will be randomized to receive finasteride, a 5‐alpha‐reductase inhibitor, or placebo to determine if inhibition of dihydrotestosterone synthesis in the prostate over a prolonged period will lead to a decreased incidence of prostate cancer. Both clinical trials offer the possibility of demonstrating that a hormonal intervention can decrease an individual's risk of developing breast or prostate cancer. They also have the potential of providing critical information about cancer risk, etiology, screening, and genetics, as well as quantifying the risks and benefits of specific preventive interventions.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2726-2733
Number of pages8
Issue number9 S
StatePublished - Nov 1 1994
Externally publishedYes


  • breast cancer
  • hormonal cancers
  • prevention
  • prostate cancer

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Cancer Research


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