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Lancet Oncol. 2006 Sep;7(9):766-74.

Use of selenium in chemoprevention of bladder cancer.

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  • 1Department of General Practice, Katholieke University of Leuven, Leuven, Belgium.


The anticarcinogenic potential of selenium was first identified nearly 40 years ago in geographical studies that reported lower death rates for cancer in regions with high levels of selenium. Cancer of the bladder was one of the body sites found to share this inverse association. Although many subsequent studies have been done on selenium and cancer, only a few have specifically assessed the relation with bladder cancer. However, the high recurrence rate and ability to monitor bladder urothelial-cell carcinoma make selenium a good candidate for chemoprevention. Evidence suggests that selenium is a biologically plausible, safe, and efficacious potential chemoprevention agent for bladder cancer. Large tertiary chemoprevention trials are needed to further investigate the role of selenium in the prevention of bladder cancer. Future studies should assess the best dose and form of selenium, and whether the protective effect of selenium differs between the sexes.

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