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Selenium, Vitamins E and C Won't Prevent Prostate Cancer
Date:12/9/2008

Large trials fail to confirm suspected benefit,,,,

TUESDAY, Dec. 9 (HealthDay News) -- Selenium, vitamin E and vitamin C won't prevent men from getting prostate cancer.

In findings that were released early because of the public health implications, the results of two large randomized, controlled clinical trials showed the supplements failed to provide a cancer-prevention benefit, despite past findings that seemed to indicate great promise -- particularly for selenium. Both studies were expected to be published in the Jan. 7 print issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association.

"Our results showed no evidence of benefit from selenium and vitamin E on prostate cancer and other cancers," said the lead author of one of the studies, Dr. Scott Lippman, a professor of medicine in the division of cancer medicine at M.D. Anderson Cancer Center, in Houston.

Lippman's study, known as the SELECT trial, included more than 35,000 men. Black men included in the study were all over 50, and men from other races were all over 55. (Blacks have a higher risk of developing prostate cancer than do men of other races, according to the American Cancer Society.)

The men were randomly assigned to one of four groups: selenium; vitamin E; selenium and vitamin E; or a placebo. The average follow-up time was more than five years.

The researchers found no statistically significant difference between the groups, and the trial was ended early, because there was no convincing evidence of efficacy.

The second study, done by Harvard researchers, included almost 15,000 male physicians over 50 who were randomly assigned to receive vitamin E, vitamin C, or a placebo. The average follow-up time for this trial was eight years.

Again, no statistically significant benefits were found from either vitamin C or E when it came to preventing prostate and other cancers.

These studies are just t
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