Among patients with non-invasive urothelial carcinoma, oral supplementation with selenium does not lower the likelihood of recurrence, according to a study published in the European Journal of Cancer.1

Researchers from Belgium evaluated results from the phase 3, placebo-controlled, randomized SELEBLAT (Selenium and Bladder Cancer Trial; Identifier: NCT00729287), which included 14 Belgian hospitals, to examine if supplementation with selenium had an effect on the recurrence of non-invasive urothelial carcinoma.

“Previous epidemiological studies have consistently reported that selenium concentrations were inversely associated with the risk of bladder cancer,” the authors note. “We therefore hypothesized that selenium may be suitable for chemoprevention of recurrence of bladder cancer.”

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In total, 151 patients received selenium yeast 200 μg and 141 received placebo. Each patient underwent treatment once a day for 3 years along with standard care.

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Upon intention to treat analysis, the researchers found that 43 patients had disease recurrence in the selenium group, while 45 had recurrence in the placebo group. With a hazard ratio of 0.85, the hazard ratio upon per protocol analysis showed 42 recurrences with selenium and 39 with placebo.


  1. Goossens ME, Zeegers MP, van Poppel H, et al. Phase III randomised chemoprevention study with selenium on the recurrence of non-invasive urothelial carcinoma. The SELEnium and BLAdder cancer Trial. Eur J Cancer. 2016 Oct 28. doi: 10.1016/j.ejca.2016.09.021 [Epub ahead of print]