A study that involved four groups of Iowa men has ended early, not because of failure but because it produced such good results. Nearly 40 men volunteered for the study through the SiouxLand Regional Cancer Center in Sioux City, where study director Pam Mears says they agreed to take a pill a day for seven years, then have a biopsy to see if they’d developed prostate cancer.A drug company provided the medication they took for free, and also gave some placebos. In a high-quality double-blind test, participants don’t know whether they’re taking the placebo or the real drug, which was called Proscar but doctors who were keeping track found a clear pattern as years went by. Twenty-five-percent fewer men developed prostate cancer among the group who took the Proscar, compared with those who took the placebo. Those results were so overwhelming the researchers called off the study, to let the new information be released. Men who took part can consult with their doctors about getting Proscar by prescription, and are also invoted to take part in the next prostate-cancer prevention study which will involve Vitamin E and selenium. In addition to the Sioux City group, Iowans volunteered in this study through clinics in Des Moines, Iowa City and Cedar Rapids.
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