A 2-year carcinogenicity study was conducted in B6C3F1 mice at doses of 3, 35, 250, and 500 mg/kg/day for males and 3, 35, and 250 mg/kg/day for females; an increased incidence of benign hepatocellular adenomas was noted at 250 mg/kg/day (290-fold the MRHD of a 0.5-mg daily dose) in female mice only. Two of the 3 major human metabolites have been detected in mice. The exposure to these metabolites in mice is either lower than in humans or is not known.
In a 2-year carcinogenicity study in Han Wistar rats, at doses of 1.5, 7.5, and 53 mg/kg/day in males and 0.8, 6.3, and 15 mg/kg/day in females, there was an increase in Leydig cell adenomas in the testes at 135-fold the MRHD (53 mg/kg/day and greater). An increased incidence of Leydig cell hyperplasia was present at 52-fold the MRHD (male rat doses of 7.5 mg/kg/day and greater). A positive correlation between proliferative changes in the Leydig cells and an increase in circulating luteinizing hormone levels has been demonstrated with 5 alpha-reductase inhibitors and is consistent with an effect on the hypothalamic-pituitary-testicular axis following 5 alpha-reductase inhibition. At tumorigenic doses, luteinizing hormone levels in rats were increased by 167%. In this study, the major human metabolites were tested for carcinogenicity at approximately 1 to 3 times the expected clinical exposure.
Dutasteride was tested for genotoxicity in a bacterial mutagenesis assay (Ames test), a chromosomal aberration assay in CHO cells, and a micronucleus assay in rats. The results did not indicate any genotoxic potential of the parent drug. Two major human metabolites were also negative in either the Ames test or an abbreviated Ames test.
Impairment of Fertility
Treatment of sexually mature male rats with dutasteride at 0.1- to 110-fold the MRHD (animal doses of 0.05, 10, 50, and 500 mg/kg/day for up to 31 weeks) resulted in dose- and time-dependent decreases in fertility; reduced cauda epididymal (absolute) sperm counts but not sperm concentration (at 50 and 500 mg/kg/day); reduced weights of the epididymis, prostate, and seminal vesicles; and microscopic changes in the male reproductive organs. The fertility effects were reversed by recovery week 6 at all doses, and sperm counts were normal at the end of a 14-week recovery period. The 5 alpha-reductase–related changes consisted of cytoplasmic vacuolation of tubular epithelium in the epididymides and decreased cytoplasmic content of epithelium, consistent with decreased secretory activity in the prostate and seminal vesicles. The microscopic changes were no longer present at recovery week 14 in the low-dose group and were partly recovered in the remaining treatment groups. Low levels of dutasteride (0.6 to 17 ng/mL) were detected in the serum of untreated female rats mated to males dosed at 10, 50, or 500 mg/kg/day for 29 to 30 weeks.
In a fertility study in female rats, oral administration of dutasteride at doses of 0.05, 2.5, 12.5, and 30 mg/kg/day resulted in reduced litter size, increased embryo resorption, and feminization of male fetuses (decreased anogenital distance) at 2- to 10-fold the MRHD (animal doses of 2.5 mg/kg/day or greater). Fetal body weights were also reduced at less than 0.02-fold the MRHD in rats (0.5 mg/kg/day).
Central Nervous System Toxicology Studies
In rats and dogs, repeated oral administration of dutasteride resulted in some animals showing signs of non-specific, reversible, centrally-mediated toxicity without associated histopathological changes at exposures 425- and 315-fold the expected clinical exposure (of parent drug), respectively.
Dutasteride 0.5 mg/day (n = 2,167) or placebo (n = 2,158) was evaluated in male subjects with BPH in three 2-year multicenter, placebo-controlled, double-blind trials, each with 2-year open-label extensions (n = 2,340). More than 90% of the trial population was Caucasian. Subjects were at least 50 years of age with a serum PSA ≥1.5 ng/mL and <10 ng/mL and BPH diagnosed by medical history and physical examination, including enlarged prostate (≥30 cc) and BPH symptoms that were moderate to severe according to the American Urological Association Symptom Index (AUA-SI). Most of the 4,325 subjects randomly assigned to receive either dutasteride or placebo completed 2 years of double-blind treatment (70% and 67%, respectively). Most of the 2,340 subjects in the trial extensions completed 2 additional years of open-label treatment (71%).
Effect on Symptom Scores
Symptoms were quantified using the AUA-SI, a questionnaire that evaluates urinary symptoms (incomplete emptying, frequency, intermittency, urgency, weak stream, straining, and nocturia) by rating on a 0 to 5 scale for a total possible score of 35, with higher numerical total symptom scores representing greater severity of symptoms. The baseline AUA-SI score across the 3 trials was approximately 17 units in both treatment groups.
Subjects receiving dutasteride achieved statistically significant improvement in symptoms versus placebo by Month 3 in 1 trial and by Month 12 in the other 2 pivotal trials. At Month 12, the mean decrease from baseline in AUA-SI total symptom scores across the 3 trials pooled was -3.3 units for dutasteride and -2.0 units for placebo with a mean difference between the 2 treatment groups of -1.3 (range: -1.1 to -1.5 units in each of the 3 trials, P <0.001) and was consistent across the 3 trials. At Month 24, the mean decrease from baseline was -3.8 units for dutasteride and -1.7 units for placebo with a mean difference of -2.1 (range: -1.9 to -2.2 units in each of the 3 trials, P <0.001). See Figure 1. The improvement in BPH symptoms seen during the first 2 years of double-blind treatment was maintained throughout an additional 2 years of open-label extension trials.
These trials were prospectively designed to evaluate effects on symptoms based on prostate size at baseline. In men with prostate volumes ≥40 cc, the mean decrease was -3.8 units for dutasteride and -1.6 units for placebo, with a mean difference between the 2 treatment groups of -2.2 at Month 24. In men with prostate volumes <40 cc, the mean decrease was -3.7 units for dutasteride and -2.2 units for placebo, with a mean difference between the 2 treatment groups of -1.5 at Month 24.
Effect on Acute Urinary Retention and the Need for BPH-Related Surgery
Efficacy was also assessed after 2 years of treatment by the incidence of AUR requiring catheterization and BPH-related urological surgical intervention. Compared with placebo, dutasteride was associated with a statistically significantly lower incidence of AUR (1.8% for dutasteride versus 4.2% for placebo, P <0.001; 57% reduction in risk, [95% CI: 38% to 71%]) and with a statistically significantly lower incidence of surgery (2.2% for dutasteride versus 4.1% for placebo, P <0.001; 48% reduction in risk, [95% CI: 26% to 63%]). See Figures 2 and 3.
Effect on Prostate Volume
A prostate volume of at least 30 cc measured by transrectal ultrasound was required for trial entry. The mean prostate volume at trial entry was approximately 54 cc.
Statistically significant differences (dutasteride versus placebo) were noted at the earliest post-treatment prostate volume measurement in each trial (Month 1, Month 3, or Month 6) and continued through Month 24. At Month 12, the mean percent change in prostate volume across the 3 trials pooled was -24.7% for dutasteride and -3.4% for placebo; the mean difference (dutasteride minus placebo) was -21.3% (range: -21.0% to -21.6% in each of the 3 trials, P <0.001). At Month 24, the mean percent change in prostate volume across the 3 trials pooled was -26.7% for dutasteride and -2.2% for placebo with a mean difference of -24.5% (range: -24.0% to -25.1% in each of the 3 trials, P <0.001). See Figure 4. The reduction in prostate volume seen during the first 2 years of double-blind treatment was maintained throughout an additional 2 years of open-label extension trials.
Effect on Maximum Urine Flow Rate
A mean peak urine flow rate (Q max ) of ≤15 mL/sec was required for trial entry. Q max was approximately 10 mL/sec at baseline across the 3 pivotal trials.
Differences between the 2 groups were statistically significant from baseline at Month 3 in all 3 trials and were maintained through Month 12. At Month 12, the mean increase in Q max across the 3 trials pooled was 1.6 mL/sec for dutasteride and 0.7 mL/sec for placebo; the mean difference (dutasteride minus placebo) was 0.8 mL/sec (range: 0.7 to 1.0 mL/sec in each of the 3 trials, P <0.001). At Month 24, the mean increase in Q max was 1.8 mL/sec for dutasteride and 0.7 mL/sec for placebo, with a mean difference of 1.1 mL/sec (range: 1.0 to 1.2 mL/sec in each of the 3 trials, P <0.001). See Figure 5. The increase in maximum urine flow rate seen during the first 2 years of double-blind treatment was maintained throughout an additional 2 years of open-label extension trials.
Summary of Clinical Trials
Data from 3 large, well-controlled efficacy trials demonstrate that treatment with dutasteride (0.5 mg once daily) reduces the risk of both AUR and BPH-related surgical intervention relative to placebo, improves BPH-related symptoms, decreases prostate volume, and increases maximum urinary flow rates. This data suggests that dutasteride arrests the disease process of BPH in men with an enlarged prostate.
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