Analysis Finds Bladder Cancer Patients Unlikely to Benefit from Selenium Supplements, According to Cancer Monthly

Share Article

Researchers in Italy say their review of studies on the link between selenium and malignancies like bladder cancer turned up too little evidence to support supplementation.

To date, no convincing evidence suggests that selenium supplements can prevent cancer in humans.

Italian scientists say patients fighting bladder cancer and other types of cancer are not likely to get any benefit from the metalloid nutritional supplement, selenium. The new meta-analysis has just been posted on the Cancer Monthly website and can be read by clicking here.

Researchers at Italy’s University of Modena and Reggio Emilia in Modena examined dozens of previous studies purporting to find a link between higher levels of selenium and/or selenium supplementation and a lower risk of certain cancers, including bladder cancer, a cancer more common among diabetics who have taken Actos. Their conclusion? The evidence is not there.

“The most pronounced decreases in risk of site-specific cancers [with selenium] were seen for stomach, bladder, and prostate cancers,” reports the study’s lead author, Dr. Marco Vinceti. “However, these findings have limitations due to study design, quality and heterogeneity that complicate interpretation of the summary statistics.”

The meta-analysis was conducted for the Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews and included studies on selenium and cancer dating back as far as 1966.

“We all wish there were an easy answer for bladder cancer and other cancers,” says Cancer Monthly Managing Editor Alex Strauss. “But analyses like this one help keep us grounded in reality and focused on the treatments and prevention strategies that are actually likely to make a difference for bladder cancer patients.”

To read more on the results of the analysis, including some areas of selenium and cancer research the study’s authors say deserve further investigation, see Selenium Unlikely to Help Patients with Bladder Cancer, available now on the Cancer Monthly website.

Vinceti, M et al, “Selenium for Preventing Cancer, Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews, March 2014, Epub ahead of print,

For over ten years, Cancer Monthly has been the only centralized source of cancer treatment results. Patients can see the actual survival rate, quality-of-life indicators, and other key data for approximately 1,500 different cancer treatments. Cancer Monthly provides timely and ground-breaking news on the causes, diagnoses and treatments of the most common cancers including Bladder, Brain, Breast, Colon, Kidney (Renal), Liver, Lung (NSCLC), Ovarian, Prostate and Rectal Cancers, Melanoma, Mesothelioma, and Non-Hodgkin's Lymphoma. Written for patients and their loved ones, Cancer Monthly helps families make more informed treatment decisions.

Share article on social media or email:

View article via:

Pdf Print

Contact Author

Michael Ellis
Cancer Monthy
+1 (919) 570-8595
Email >
Follow us on
Visit website