Prostate cancer chemoprevention has generated considerable interest in the last decade and selenium and combinations of selenium have been recognized as one of the most efficacious chemopreventive agents against prostate cancer. This chapter focuses on a discussion of the findings regarding the mechanisms of action of various selenium compounds and their effects on cellular processes and signaling pathways, particularly on androgen signaling. We also describe the clinical and preclinical studies that have contributed enormously to the knowledge about dose, duration of exposure, and the chemical form of selenium effective in different scenarios. The initial analysis of the SELECT study found that 200 μg of selenium and 400 IUs daily of vitamin E do not prevent prostate cancer even though a 2002 follow-up report showed that men who took selenium for more than 7§ years had about 52 percent fewer new cases of prostate cancer than men who took placebo. This raises concerns about the efficacy of the use of selenomethionine in the trial as the source of selenium and underscores the importance of choosing the chemical form and dosage of selenium supplementation with care. Even though popular opinion is still undecided about whether selenium can be used as a chemopreventive agent in the clinic and whether studies with cell lines and populations at low, medium, or high risk can adequately represent the physiological behavior of this micronutrient, it can safely be said to offer the most diverse spectrum of protective effects against prostate cancer which warrants for its future as a chemopreventive agent. A more diverse analysis of the effects of selenium on androgen receptor signaling and related pathways would shed more light on its role in prevention of prostate cancer progression rather than initiation.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)