Stanford researcher shows selenium may help prevent prostate cancer

November 29, 2001

STANFORD, Calif. - Men with low blood levels of selenium - a trace element supplied in certain foods and supplements - are four to five times more likely to contract prostate cancer, according to a federally sponsored study published by a Stanford University urologist and colleagues.

James D. Brooks, MD, lead author of a paper in the Dec. 1 issue of the Journal of Urology, said the research confirmed that higher blood levels of selenium were associated with lower risks of prostate cancer.

"Perhaps the most interesting finding of this study was that blood selenium levels decreased with age - a fact not previously known. Furthermore, this study showed there was a direct connection between selenium and prostate cancer - older men with higher levels of selenium were at lower risk."

The study suggests that eating more selenium-rich foods, such as Brazil nuts and tuna, or taking a dietary supplement, may reduce the risk of prostate cancer. Brooks said further study is needed to determine if supplements will actually raise selenium levels in the blood.

Nevertheless, the researchers concluded that the results support the hypothesis that supplemental selenium may reduce the risk of prostate cancer. Because selenium in blood decreases with patient age, supplementation may be beneficial to older men.

A large study is now under way at Stanford and other major medical centers to test whether supplements will reduce prostate cancer rates. (Healthy men over age 55 may volunteer or receive details about the study at Stanford and other sites by calling the National Cancer Institute information line, 1-800-4-CANCER.)

Brooks' study included 52 men with prostate cancer and 96 men without the disease. The median age was just under 69. The men's health histories and medical risks have been tracked for many years as part of the federally sponsored Baltimore Longitudinal Study of Aging.

Brooks, an assistant professor of urology at Stanford, was joined in the study by scientists at the Laboratory of Clinical Investigation of the National Institute on Aging, and Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. The project was supported by a grant from the National Institute on Aging.

Prostate cancer is the No. 1 form of cancer affecting men, and a leading cause of cancer deaths among men, according to the American Cancer Society.
-end-
Stanford University Medical Center integrates research, medical education and patient care at its three institutions - Stanford University School of Medicine, Stanford Hospital & Clinics and Lucile Packard Children's Hospital. For more information, please visit the Web site of the medical center's Office of News and Public Affairs at http://mednews.stanford.edu

MEDIA CONTACT: Michelle Brandt, 650-723-0272 or 723-6911, mbrandt@stanford.edu.
BROADCAST MEDIA CONTACT: Sheila Foster, 650-723-3900 or 723-6911 safoster@stanford.edu

Stanford University Medical Center

Related Prostate Cancer Articles from Brightsurf:

Low risk of cancer spread on active surveillance for early prostate cancer
Men undergoing active surveillance for prostate cancer have very low rates - one percent or less - of cancer spread (metastases) or death from prostate cancer, according to a recent study published in the Journal of Urology®, an Official Journal of the American Urological Association (AUA).

ESMO 2020: Breast cancer drug set to transform prostate cancer treatment
A drug used to treat breast and ovarian cancer can extend the lives of some men with prostate cancer and should become a new standard treatment for the disease, concludes a major trial which is set to change clinical practice.

Major trial shows breast cancer drug can hit prostate cancer Achilles heel
A drug already licensed for the treatment of breast and ovarian cancers is more effective than targeted hormone therapy at keeping cancer in check in some men with advanced prostate cancer, a major clinical trial reports.

The Lancet: Prostate cancer study finds molecular imaging could transform management of patients with aggressive cancer
Results from a randomised controlled trial involving 300 prostate cancer patients find that a molecular imaging technique is more accurate than conventional medical imaging and recommends the scans be introduced into routine clinical practice.

Common genetic defect in prostate cancer inspires path to new anti-cancer drugs
Researchers found that, in prostate cancer, a mutation leading to the loss of one allele of a tumor suppressor gene known as PPP2R2A is enough to worsen a tumor caused by other mutations.

First prostate cancer therapy to target genes delays cancer progression
For the first time, prostate cancer has been treated based on the genetic makeup of the cancer, resulting in delayed disease progression, delayed time to pain progression, and potentially extending lives in patients with advanced, metastatic prostate cancer, reports a large phase 3 trial.

Men taking medications for enlarged prostate face delays in prostate cancer diagnosis
University of California San Diego School of Medicine researchers report that men treated with medications for benign prostatic hyperplasia (enlarged prostate) experienced a two-year delay in diagnosis of their prostate cancer and were twice as likely to have advanced disease upon diagnosis.

CNIO researchers confirm links between aggressive prostate cancer and hereditary breast cancer
The study has potential implications for families with members suffering from these types of tumours who are at an increased risk of developing cancer.

Distinguishing fatal prostate cancer from 'manageable' cancer now possible
Scientists at the University of York have found a way of distinguishing between fatal prostate cancer and manageable cancer, which could reduce unnecessary surgeries and radiotherapy.

Researchers find prostate cancer drug byproduct can fuel cancer cells
A genetic anomaly in certain men with prostate cancer may impact their response to common drugs used to treat the disease, according to new research at Cleveland Clinic.

Read More: Prostate Cancer News and Prostate Cancer Current Events
Brightsurf.com is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com.