The modulation of prostate cancer risk with α-tocopherol: A pilot randomized, controlled clinical trial

Javier Hernandez, Samira Syed, Geoffrey Weiss, Gabriel Fernandes, Dendra Von Merveldt, Dean A. Troyer, Joseph W. Basler, Ian M Thompson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

18 Scopus citations


Purpose: Studies suggest that vitamin E may decrease the risk of prostate cancer. The Prevention Research Veteran Affairs E-vitamin Nutrition Trial is a randomized, double-blind, placebo controlled study designed to assess the effects of vitamin E supplementation on biomarkers associated with prostate cancer risk in peripheral blood and prostate tissue. Materials and Methods: A total of 44 patients with increased prostate specific antigen (PSA) and/or abnormal digital rectal examination on initial evaluation were randomized to receive 400 IU vitamin E (22) vs placebo (22). Serum vitamin E, PSA, dehydroepiandrosterone, testosterone and insulin-like growth factor-1 (IGF-1) were measured in the 2 groups at baseline and then at 3-month intervals. Results are reported in 28 patients (placebo in 14 and vitamin E in 14) who completed the treatment as specified by the protocol. Results: Serum Vitamin E was significantly higher in patients on vitamin E supplementation. α-Tocopherol supplementation did not affect the levels of PSA, serum androgens (testosterone and dehydroepiandrosterone) or (IGF-1). Conclusions: Serum α-tocopherol is increased by oral supplementation of vitamin E. We found that α-tocopherol supplementation has no effect on serum androgens, IGF-1 or PSA. The lack of an effect of vitamin supplementation on PSA avoids any bias in the diagnosis of prostate cancer in vitamin E treated patients. Our results suggest that a decrease in prostate cancer risk with α-tocopherol is likely to occur through a mechanism that is nonhormonal and independent of IGF-1.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)519-522
Number of pages4
JournalJournal of Urology
Issue number2
StatePublished - Aug 2005


  • Biological
  • Prostate
  • Prostate-specific antigen
  • Prostatic neoplasms
  • Tumor markers
  • α-tocopherol

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Urology


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