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Selenium shows no benefit in prevention of lung cancer
Date:6/5/2010

ntion agent would be desirable, as the risk of recurrence in Stage I patients after surgery accumulates by one to two percent annually. For example, a patient's risk of developing a new cancer at 10 years is approximately 10-20 percent, said Karp.

From 2000 to 2009, the international NCI-sponsored Phase III study, enrolled 1,522 Stage I non-small cell lung cancer patients, all of whom had their tumors surgically removed and were cancer-free for at least six months post-surgery. Participants were randomized to receive either 200 micrograms of selenium or placebo. The study's primary endpoints were reduction of development of a new cancer, or second primary, and/or recurrence of their initial cancer.

The study was halted early after an interim analysis revealed that the progression-free survival was superior in the placebo arm: 78 percent taking the placebo were alive without recurrence after five years, compared to 72 percent on selenium. A total of 216 secondary primary tumors developed, of which 84 (38.9 percent) were lung cancers. Of those taking selenium, 1.9 percent developed a second primary tumor after the first year, compared to 1.4 percent taking placebo. In total, 3.66 percent of participants in the selenium arm developed a secondary primary tumor of any type after one year, compared to 4.1 percent in the placebo group.

Side effects were minimal and no different in both groups: of those taking placebo, 38 percent had grade 1 or 2 toxicity, and 3 percent had grade 3, compared to 39 percent and 1 percent, respectively in those taking the supplement. The study was stopped by the independent Data and Safety Monitoring Committee due to futility.

The researchers did find that in a small group of the lung cancer patients who were never smoked, selenium did provide a small benefit; however, the size of the group of patients, 94, was too small to be statistically significant.

"Our results demonstrate that selenium i
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Contact: Laura Sussman
lsussman@mdanderson.org
832-264-8893
University of Texas M. D. Anderson Cancer Center
Source:Eurekalert  

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