SELECT: the selenium and vitamin E cancer prevention trial

Urol Oncol. Jan-Feb 2003;21(1):59-65. doi: 10.1016/s1078-1439(02)00301-0.


Purpose: Growing evidence suggests that both selenium and vitamin E may reduce the risk of prostate cancer. SELECT is a randomized, prospective, double-blind study designed to determine if selenium and vitamin E can reduce the risk of prostate cancer among healthy men.

Materials and methods: The preclinical and epidemiologic evidence regarding chemoprevention with selenium and vitamin E were reviewed. Secondary analyses from randomized trials of both agents were included in the analysis. Data from these analyses as well as evidence from the Prostate Cancer Prevention Trial were used to develop the schema of SELECT.

Results: Preclinical, epidemiologic, and Phase III data suggest that both selenium and vitamin E have potential efficacy in prostate cancer prevention. The experience of the Prostate Cancer Prevention Trial and the rapid accrual of SELECT during its first year demonstrate the interest and dedication of healthy men to long-term studies of cancer prevention. A total of 32,400 men are planned to be randomized in SELECT.

Conclusions: SELECT is the second large-scale study of chemoprevention for prostate cancer. Enrollment began in 2001 with final results anticipated in 2013.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Adenocarcinoma / epidemiology
  • Adenocarcinoma / prevention & control*
  • Anticarcinogenic Agents / therapeutic use*
  • Antioxidants / therapeutic use
  • Biomarkers, Tumor / blood
  • Double-Blind Method
  • Enzyme Inhibitors / therapeutic use
  • Finasteride / therapeutic use
  • Humans
  • Incidence
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Multicenter Studies as Topic
  • Patient Selection
  • Prospective Studies
  • Prostate-Specific Antigen / blood
  • Prostatic Neoplasms / epidemiology
  • Prostatic Neoplasms / prevention & control*
  • Randomized Controlled Trials as Topic / methods*
  • Randomized Controlled Trials as Topic / standards
  • Research Design
  • Risk
  • Selenium / pharmacology
  • Selenium / therapeutic use*
  • Vitamin E / pharmacology
  • Vitamin E / therapeutic use*


  • Anticarcinogenic Agents
  • Antioxidants
  • Biomarkers, Tumor
  • Enzyme Inhibitors
  • Vitamin E
  • Finasteride
  • Prostate-Specific Antigen
  • Selenium