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Supplements Affect Expression of Prostate Cancer Genes

Changes support evidence that selenium, vitamin E might be active as cancer preventatives

THURSDAY, Feb. 26 (HealthDay News) -- In prostate cancer patients scheduled for radical prostatectomy, selenium and vitamin E have significant effects on expression levels of genes commonly associated with cancer development and progression that may have clinical implications, according to an article published in the Mar. 4 issue of the Journal of the National Cancer Institute.

Dimitra Tsavachidou, M.D., of the University of Texas M.D. Anderson Cancer Center in Houston, and colleagues randomly assigned 39 patients to 200 micrograms of selenium, 400 IU of vitamin E, both, or placebo, and created a preoperative model for prostatectomy tissue interrogation.

The researchers found that selenium was associated with changes in the expression of TP53, androgen receptor, HRAS , MYC, and genes involved in caspase-mediated apoptosis and that vitamin E treatment was associated with changes in the expression of TP53, HRAS, NFKB1, TGFB1, CREB1, PTEN and AKT1.

"Although an integrated model of how these changes might affect the risk of developing prostate cancer was beyond the scope of the study, the study is noteworthy for demonstrating that even short-term exposure (i.e., three to six weeks) to these agents can affect expression of a majority of the genes interrogated and, in the robust demonstration of the utility of the preprostatectomy model, for deriving information on modulation of biomarkers that may subserve the development or prevention of prostate cancer," states the author of an accompanying editorial.

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