CHICAGO - Selenium, a supplement taken daily by millions in hopes of protection against cancer and a host of other diseases, has proven to be of no benefit in reducing a patient's risk of developing lung cancer - either a recurrence or second primary malignancy, according to results of an international Phase III clinical trial.
Results from the decade-long study, initiated by the Eastern Cooperative Oncology Group, were presented today at the American Society of Clinical Oncology 2010 Annual Meeting by Daniel D. Karp, M.D., professor in the Department of Thoracic/Head and Neck Medical Oncology at The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center.
"Several epidemiological and animal studies have long-suggested a link between deficiency of selenium and cancer development," said Karp, the study's principal investigator. "Interest and research escalated in the late 1990's after a skin cancer and selenium study, published in 1996, found no benefit against the skin cancer, but did suggest an approximate 30 percent reduction of prostate and lung cancers. Our lung cancer research and another major study for the prevention of prostate cancer evolved from that finding."
These large, follow-up clinical studies investigating the naturally occurring mineral, however, have since proven disappointing. In 2009, the National Cancer Institute (NCI) halted SELECT, an international study of more than 35,000 men investigating if either selenium or Vitamin E, alone or in combination, could reduce the risk of prostate cancer. Both supplements failed to show benefit.
According to the American Cancer Society, approximately 219,440 people were diagnosed with lung cancer in 2009 and 159,390 died from the disease, making it the leading cause of cancer death in both men and women. When caught as early as Stage I, and the tumor is surgically resectable, however, and can even be cured in about 80 percent of the cases. In this population, a chemopreve
|Contact: Laura Sussman|
University of Texas M. D. Anderson Cancer Center