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Selenium Linked to Prostate Cancer Aggressiveness

High selenium associated with more aggressive disease depending on gene variant

THURSDAY, June 18 (HealthDay News) -- High selenium levels are associated with more aggressive disease in men with prostate cancer, but only in men with a particular gene variant, according to a study published online June 15 in the Journal of Clinical Oncology.

June M. Chan, from the University of California in San Francisco, and colleagues examined the association between plasma selenium and manganese superoxide dismutase (SOD2) gene variants in 489 patients with localized or locally advanced prostate cancer.

The researchers found that higher selenium levels were associated with a higher risk of aggressive disease (relative risk, 1.35). The higher risk of aggressive disease associated with higher selenium levels was largely limited to patients with a V SOD2 allele (relative risk, 1.82), while patients with the AA SOD2 genotype had a lower risk of aggressive disease (relative risk, 0.60).

"These data suggest that the relationship between circulating selenium levels at diagnosis and prognostic risk of prostate cancer is modified by SOD2 genotype and indicate caution against broad use of selenium supplementation for men with prostate cancer," Chan and colleagues conclude.

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