Selenium in the prevention of colorectal cancer

Authors Maria Tzouvala.


Colorectal cancer remains a major cause of cancer related
mortality and morbidity. Therefore, primary chemoprevention
would be a desirable option. Recently, the trace element
selenium (Se), has been evaluated in clinical trials,
as a possible chemopreventive agent, in cancer. Several
possible mechanisms for its potential anticarcinogenic effects
have been proposed, however the exact mechanisms,
by which selenium compounds exert these properties, is
largely unknown.
Results from epidemiological studies have been mixed and
inconclusive. The true nature of the association between
selenium deficiency and incidence of colorectal adenomas
or cancer remains controversial. However, the limited clinical
data suggest a potential benefit of Se supplementation.
Yet, more conclusive evidence is needed before any dietary
recommendation can be decided.
Key words: Colorectal cancer, adenomas, prevention,
selenium, selenoproteins, selenomethionine
Colorectal cancer is one of the most common cancers
Invited Reviews