Selenium May Exacerbate Prostate Cancer

June 29, 2009

1 Min Read
Selenium May Exacerbate Prostate Cancer

BOSTON—Higher selenium levels in the blood may exacerbate prostate cancer in some men who already have the disease, according to a new study from researchers at the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute and the University of California, San Francisco.

The study suggests that the relationship between circulating selenium levels at diagnosis and prognostic risk of prostate cancer is modified by manganese superoxide dismutase (SOD2) genotype and indicate caution against broad use of selenium supplementation for men with prostate cancer.

The research findings suggest that “if you already have prostate cancer, it may be a bad thing to take selenium,” said Philip Kantoff, M.D., director of Dana-Farber’s Lank Center for Genitourinary Oncology and senior author of the study that is published by the Journal of Clinical Oncology.

The results are the first to raise concern about this potentially harmful consequence of taking supplemental selenium.

“These findings are interesting particularly in light of the recent negative results from the SELECT prevention study, which asked if selenium could protect against prostate cancer,” Kantoff said.

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