SELECT: The selenium and Vitamin E Cancer Prevention Trial: Rationale and design

E. A. Klein, Ian M Thompson, S. M. Lippman, P. J. Goodman, D. Albanes, P. R. Taylor, C. Coltman

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

90 Scopus citations


Prostate cancer is the commonest non-skin malignancy in the United States and has a substantial mortality rate despite the use of PSA-based screening. Furthermore, therapy for prostate cancer by surgery, radiotherapy or hormonal manipulation carries a significant risk of treatment-related morbidity. Recent analysis of secondary endpoints of several large-scale randomized prospective clinical trials for other malignancies has suggested that selenium or vitamin E may result in a decreased incidence and mortality from prostate cancer. In vitro and preclinical studies of these antioxidants support this hypothesis. This review outlines the rationale and design of SELECT, the Selenium and Vitamin E Cancer Prevention Trial, designed to test the hypothesis that selenium or vitamin E alone or in combination can reduce the clinical incidence of prostate cancer in a population-based cohort of men at risk. SELECT is a phase III, randomized, double-blinded, prospective, 2 x 2 factorial clinical trial which will randomize 32,400 healthy men with normal DRE and serum PSA to one of four study arms: selenium alone, vitamin E alone, selenium + vitamin E, or placebo. Study agents will be taken orally for a minimum of 7 and maximum of 12 y with assessments of general health, incident prostate cancer and toxicity performed at 12 month intervals. Under the assumptions described, the detectable risk reduction is 25% for an effective single agent relative to placebo, with an additional 25% reduction for the combination relative to an effective single agent. The estimated power for the comparison of a single agent vs placebo is 96% and the power for the comparison of an effective single agent vs combination is 89%. Secondary endpoints will include prostate cancer-free survival, all-cause mortality, and the incidence and mortality of other cancers and diseases potentially impacted by the chronic use of selenium and vitamin E. Other trial objectives will include periodic quality of life assessments, assessment of serum micronutrient levels and prostate cancer risk, and studies of the evaluation of biological and genetic markers with the risk of prostate cancer.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)145-151
Number of pages7
JournalProstate Cancer and Prostatic Diseases
Issue number3
StatePublished - 2000
Externally publishedYes


  • Chemoprevention
  • Prostate cancer
  • Selenium
  • Vitamin E

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Urology
  • Cancer Research


Dive into the research topics of 'SELECT: The selenium and Vitamin E Cancer Prevention Trial: Rationale and design'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this