Prostate cancer is the most common malignancy in men in the United States. Surgery or radiation are sometimes unsatisfactory treatments because of the complications such as incontinence or erectile dysfunction. Selenium was found to be effective to prevent prostate cancer in the Nutritional Prevention of Cancer Trial (NPC), which motivated two other clinical trials: the Selenium and Vitamin E Cancer Prevention Trial (SELECT) and a Phase III trial of selenium to prevent prostate cancer in men with high-grade prostatic intraepithelial neoplasia. However, these two trials failed to confirm the results of the NPC trial and indicated that the selenium may not be preventive of prostate cancer. In this article we review the three clinical trials and discuss some different points which might be potential factors underlying variation in results obtained.