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News Archive - Progress Newsletter Winter 2002 Online

Can Vitamins and Minerals Prevent Prostate Cancer?

An important study underway at the University of Michigan Cancer Center aims to find out whether daily selenium or vitamin E supplements may reduce a man's chances of getting prostate cancer - one of the most common and deadly cancers diagnosed in American men.

Funded by the National Cancer Institute and the Southwest Oncology Group, the "Selenium and Vitamin E Chemoprevention Trial" (SELECT) will enroll more than 32,000 healthy men nationwide to evaluate whether selenium (a micro-nutrient present in food and in supplements) and vitamin E (alpha-tocopherol) are effective at preventing prostate cancer. Some men will take only selenium OR vitamin E, and some will take both. Others will take a placebo (sugar capsule).

The U-M is seeking African-American men at least 50 years of age and men from ethnic and other racial groups at least 55 years old. Participants must have no prior history of prostate cancer. Men who join SELECT also must not have had any other cancer, except non-melanoma skin cancer, in the last five years. They must be in generally good health and meet the necessary eligibility requirements.

"It is crucial that men of all races and ethnic backgrounds participate in SELECT," says John Wei, M.D., assistant professor of urology and principal investigator for the U-M effort. "Since African-American men have among the highest incidence of prostate cancer in the world, we especially encourage them to consider joining this trial. Prostate cancer also strikes black men at a younger age, so they will be eligible to enroll in the study at age 50 vs. age 55 for other racial and ethnic groups.

"The men who join SELECT will be helping to answer one of the most important questions regarding prostate cancer prevention. The findings from this study may one day help their sons and grandsons live free from the disease," says Dr. Wei.

Risk factors for prostate cancer include being over age 55, being black, or having a father or brother with prostate cancer.

Men who are interested in obtaining more information about SELECT should contact the Cancer AnswerLine™ at 1-800-865-1125 or contact them via their web page.


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