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J Nutr. 1998 Nov;128(11):1845-54.

Lessons from basic research in selenium and cancer prevention.

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Department of Pharmacology and Therapeutics, Roswell Park Cancer Institute, Buffalo, NY 14263, USA.


The article reviews the progress in basic research of selenium and cancer prevention during the past decade. Special emphasis is placed on the following four major areas of discussion: 1) chemical forms of selenium and anticarcinogenic activity; 2) selenium-enriched food; 3) in vitro effects of selenite vs. monomethylated selenium; and 4) aromatic selenium compounds. It is clear that basic research has contributed new knowledge to our understanding of selenium biochemistry, anticancer efficacy and regulation of cell growth. Some of this information could be ready for incorporation into the design of a second-generation selenium trial in humans.

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