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J Oncol. 2012;2012:651630. doi: 10.1155/2012/651630. Epub 2012 Oct 16.

Selenium in the prevention of anthracycline-induced cardiac toxicity in children with cancer.

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Department of Pediatric Oncology, Medical School, Ankara University, 06590 Ankara, Turkey.


High cumulative doses of anthracyclines (300-500 mg/m(2)) used in the treatment of children with cancer may result in cardiotoxicity, a major long-term adverse effect that limits clinical usefulness of this class of chemotherapeutic agents. We assessed anthracycline-induced cardiotoxicity by measuring Pro-BNP levels and echocardiographic (ECHO) findings and investigated potential protective effect of selenium (Se) supplementation in a group of pediatric cancer patients. Plasma level of Pro-BNP was measured, and ECHO was performed in 67 patients (45 boys, 22 girls; ages 2-18 years; median age 12 years) after they completed anthracycline-containing chemotherapy. Serum Se level was measured in 37 patients. Eleven patients had high Pro-BNP levels and/or cardiac failure with Pro-BNP levels of 10-8,022 pg/mL (median 226.3 pg/mL; laboratory normal level is less than 120 pg/mL). Serum Se levels were low (20-129 mcg/L, median 62 mcg/L) in ten of these eleven patients. Eight of 10 patients with low Se and high Pro-BNP levels were supplemented with Se 100 mcg/day for a period of 4-33 months (median 6 months) which resulted in improvement in Pro-BNP and/or ECHO findings. These results suggest that Se supplementation may have a role in protection against anthracycline-induced cardiac toxicity.

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