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Cancer Lett. 1985 Jun;27(2):163-70.

Selenium inhibits UV-light-induced skin carcinogenesis in hairless mice.


Female hairless inbred hr/hr mice were exposed to UV-B irradiation from Philips TL 40W/12 fluorescent tubes. Fractionated irradiation, given as single daily doses 5 days a week, was gradually increased from 0.04 to 0.4 J/cm2 over 2 weeks. Irradiation at 0.4 J/cm2 was continued for 20 weeks. Selenium supplementation given as sodium selenite in the drinking water at 2, 4 and 8 mg/l began 3 weeks before UV-irradiation and continued thereafter. Development of skin tumors was followed by weekly examinations. Statistical analyses revealed significant dose-dependent selenium-mediated protection against UV-light-induced skin cancer. Leukemia developed in 5 of 150 UV-irradiated mice as opposed to none in a group of 60 unirradiated mice.

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