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Hospitals Join Forces to Look For "A Few Good Men" for Prostate Cancer Prevention Study
ANN ARBOR, MI - If you're a man in your 50's, Uncle Sam may not want you but Michigan hospitals do for one of the largest prostate cancer prevention clinical trials in history.
Sixteen Michigan hospitals have joined forces to take part in the "Selenium and Vitamin E Chemoprevention Trial" (SELECT). The research study, funded by the National Cancer Institute (NCI), will include more than 32,000 healthy men to evaluate selenium (a micronutrient present in food and in supplements) and vitamin E (alpha-tocopherol), to determine their effectiveness in preventing prostate cancer.
The participating sites:
The study 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.
"It is crucial that men of all races and ethnic backgrounds participate in SELECT," said Leslie Ford, M.D., associate director for clinical research in NCI's Division of Cancer Prevention. "Since African-American men have the highest incidence of prostate cancer in the world, we especially encourage them to consider joining this trial. The disease 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 not only have a chance to prevent prostate cancer for themselves, but they also may help their sons and grandsons live free from the disease," said Ford.
After skin cancer, prostate cancer is the most common type of cancer in men in the United States. During this year alone, the American Cancer Society estimates that more than 7,100 cases of prostate cancer will be diagnosed in Michigan and more than 1,100 state residents will die from the disease. Nationally, about 198,100 Americans will be diagnosed with prostate cancer and more than 31,500 men are expected to die. Risk factors for the disease include being over age 55, being black, or having a father or brother with prostate cancer.
Results of two recent prevention studies for other types of cancer led researchers to believe selenium and vitamin E may help prevent prostate cancer. One clinical trial for preventing lung cancer with vitamin E showed that men who participated had fewer incidences of prostate cancer compared with the general population. Also, a study for preventing skin cancer with selenium showed that men who were in that clinical trial had a lower incidence of prostate cancer.
Men who are interested in obtaining more information about SELECT should contact the Cancer AnswerLine™ at 1-800-865-1125, or via their web page. In addition to hospitals in Metro Detroit, more than 400 other study sites in the United States, Canada and Puerto Rico will be enrolling participants. The study will take up to 12 years to complete.