Reduced serum selenoprotein P concentrations in German prostate cancer patients

Cancer Epidemiol Biomarkers Prev. 2009 Sep;18(9):2386-90. doi: 10.1158/1055-9965.EPI-09-0262. Epub 2009 Aug 18.


Selenium (Se) is essentially needed for the biosynthesis of selenoproteins. Low Se intake causes reduced selenoprotein biosynthesis and constitutes a risk factor for tumorigenesis. Accordingly, some Se supplementation trials have proven effective to reduce prostate cancer risk, especially in poorly supplied individuals. Because Se metabolism is controlled by selenoprotein P (SEPP), we have tested whether circulating SEPP concentrations correlate to prostate cancer stage and grade. A total of 190 men with prostate cancer (n = 90) and "no evidence of malignancy" (NEM; n = 100) histologically confirmed by prostate biopsy were retrospectively analyzed for established tumor markers and for their Se and SEPP status. Prostate specific antigen (PSA), free PSA, total Se, and SEPP concentrations were determined from serum samples and compared with clinicopathologic parameters. The diagnostic performance was analyzed with receiver operating characteristic curves. Median Se and SEPP concentrations differed significantly (P < 0.001) between the groups. Median serum Se concentrations in the 25th to 75th percentile were 95.9 microg/L (82-117.9) in NEM patients and 81.4 microg/L (67.9-98.4) in prostate cancer patients. Corresponding serum SEPP concentrations were 3.4 mg/L (1.9-5.6) in NEM and 2.9 mg/L (1.1-5.5) in prostate cancer patients. The area under the curve (AUC) of a marker combination with age, PSA, and percent free PSA (%fPSA) in combination with the SEPP concentration, yielded the highest diagnostic value (AUC 0.80) compared with the marker combination without SEPP (AUC 0.77) or %fPSA (AUC 0.76). We conclude that decreased SEPP concentration in serum might represent an additional valuable marker for prostate cancer diagnostics.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Germany
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Neoplasm Staging
  • Prostate-Specific Antigen / blood
  • Prostatic Neoplasms / blood*
  • Prostatic Neoplasms / pathology
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Selenoprotein P / blood*


  • Selenoprotein P
  • Prostate-Specific Antigen