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Selenium Supplement Does Not Protect Against Cancer, Study Finds

June 5, 2010: 11:41 AM EST
A ten-year U.S. study involving more than 1,500 early-stage lung cancer patients who’d had their tumors surgically removed found that taking selenium, a naturally occurring mineral supplement, did not reduce the risk of developing either a recurrence or a new malignancy. Researchers ended the study early after finding that patients who were taking the placebo actually had a better rate of survival without cancer: 78 percent were alive without recurrence after five years, compared to 72 percent on selenium. Approximately 1.9 percent of patients taking selenium developed another tumor after the first year, compared to 1.4 percent taking placebo. A total of 3.66 percent of patients taking selenium developed a tumor after one year, compared to 4.1 percent in the placebo group.
Daniel D. Karp, M.D., John Ruckdeschel, M.D., Sandra Lee, et al., "Selenium Shows No Benefit in Prevention of Lung Cancer", Presentation, American Society of Clinical Oncology 2010 annual meeting, June 05, 2010, © Eastern Cooperative Oncology Group
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