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Cancer Prevention Research

Year: 2010  |  Volume: 3  |  Issue: 3  |  Page No.: 381 - 392

Null Activity of Selenium and Vitamin E as Cancer Chemopreventive Agents in the Rat Prostate

D. L McCormick, K.V.N Rao, W. D Johnson, M. C Bosland, R. A Lubet and V. E. Steele

Abstract

To evaluate the potential efficacy of selenium and vitamin E as inhibitors of prostate carcinogenesis, four chemoprevention studies using a common protocol were done in a rat model of androgen-dependent prostate cancer. After stimulation of prostate epithelial cell proliferation by a sequential regimen of cyproterone acetate followed by testosterone propionate, male Wistar-Unilever rats received a single i.v. injection of N-methyl-N-nitrosourea (MNU) followed by chronic androgen stimulation via subcutaneous implantation of testosterone pellets. At 1 week post-MNU, groups of carcinogen-treated rats (39-44/group) were fed either a basal diet or a basal diet supplemented with l-selenomethionine (3 or 1.5 mg/kg diet; study 1), dl--tocopherol (vitamin E, 4,000 or 2,000 mg/kg diet; study 2), l-selenomethionine + vitamin E (3 + 2,000 mg/kg diet or 3 + 500 mg/kg diet; study 3), or selenized yeast (target selenium levels of 9 or 3 mg/kg diet; study 4). Each chemoprevention study was terminated at 13 months post-MNU, and prostate cancer incidence was determined by histopathologic evaluation. No statistically significant reductions in prostate cancer incidence were identified in any group receiving dietary supplementation with selenium and/or vitamin E. These data do not support the hypotheses that selenium and vitamin E are potent cancer chemopreventive agents in the prostate, and when considered with the recent clinical data reported in the Selenium and Vitamin E Cancer Prevention Trial (SELECT), show the predictive nature of this animal model for human prostate cancer chemoprevention. Cancer Prev Res; 3(3); 381–92

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