SELECT was based upon the secondary outcomes from two previous cancer prevention trials. The first, a 1996 study of selenium versus placebo to prevent non-melanoma skin cancer, showed that although the supplement did not reduce the risk of skin cancer, selenium did reduce prostate cancer by two-thirds; and in the second, a 1998 study conducted by Finnish researchers determined that although vitamin E did not prevent lung cancer in more than 29,000 male smokers, it did result in 32 percent fewer prostate cancers in men taking the supplement.
"Preliminary data suggesting benefits - no matter how promising - cannot reliably result in new clinical recommendations until they've been tested in definitive trials," said Ernest T. Hawk, M.D., vice president and division head of M. D. Anderson's Cancer Prevention and Population Sciences.
Although the SELECT trial did not turn out as we'd hoped - identifying a new way to reduce men's risk of prostate cancer - it was nevertheless extremely valuable by generating definitive evidence. Cancer prevention advances by rigorous science."
Identity of SELECT participants will remain blinded to prevent the introduction of any unintentional bias, however, they may be unblinded upon request. The sub-studies, funded and conducted by the National Institutes of Health's National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute, the National Institute of Aging, the National Eye Institute and the NCI, will continue without the participants taking any supplementation. These ancillary studies were evaluating the effects of selenium
|Contact: Robin Davidson|
University of Texas M. D. Anderson Cancer Center