HOUSTON, June 5 (UPI) — In a reversal of previous research, a study shows selenium taken as a supplement does not reduce the risk of developing lung cancer, researchers say.
The study shows lung cancer patients given the supplement did not reduce their risk of developing recurring lung cancer or a new cancer, CNN reported Saturday.
Work with selenium as a way to reduce lung cancer began with a 1996 study of cancer development suggesting a possible reduction of lung and prostate cancers with selenium, CNN said.
But large clinical trials with selenium have been mostly negative.
Researchers at the MD Anderson Cancer Center in Houston said the results of the new study were not encouraging.
“This process is very insidious and takes years,” principal investigator Dr. Daniel Karp said. “And unfortunately we were not able to show that selenium produced any clear benefit.”
Another cancer researcher said consumers should not expect selenium to prevent new or recurring cancers, and should consider another strategy.
“One thing that has been shown to prevent second cancers is to stop smoking,” Dr. Mark Kris at Memorial Sloane Kettering Cancer Center said. “In other trials like this, that is the common thread.”
“The message is for goodness sakes, stop smoking and if you can, make sure that young people don’t start,” Karp said.
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