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Selenium in Radiation Oncology—15 Years of Experiences in Germany

Radiotherapy RheinMainNahe, 55543 Bad Kreuznach, Germany
Department of Radiotherapy and Radiation Oncology, Marien Hospital Herne, Ruhr University Bochum, 44801 Bochum, Germany
Department of Radiotherapy and Radiation Oncology, Franziskus Hospital, 33615 Bielefeld, Germany
Institute for Experimental Endocrinology, Charité Berlin, 10117 Berlin, Germany
Department of Otolaryngology, Südharz Hospital Nordhausen, 99734 Nordhausen, Germany
Department of Internal Medicine, St. Anna Hospital, 44649 Herne, Germany
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
The German Working Group Trace Elements and Electrolytes in Oncology.
Presented at the 11th International Symposium on Selenium in Biology and Medicine and the 5th International Conference on Selenium in Environment and Human Health, Stockholm, 13–17 August 2017.
Nutrients 2018, 10(4), 483;
Received: 19 March 2018 / Revised: 5 April 2018 / Accepted: 11 April 2018 / Published: 13 April 2018
Introduction: Se measurement and supplementation in radiation oncology is a controversial issue. The German Working Group Trace Elements and Electrolytes in Oncology (AKTE) has conducted a number of studies on this issue, which are summarized in this review. Strategies have been tested and developed, aiming to stratify the patients with a potential need for supplemental Se and how best to monitor Se supplementation with respect to health effects and risks. Methods: We analyzed blood and tissue Se-levels of different tumor patients (n = 512). Two randomized phase III clinical studies were conducted for testing a potential radioprotective effect of supplemental Se during radiation therapy in patients with uterine cancer (n = 81) and head and neck tumor patients (n = 39). Results: A relative Se deficit in whole blood or serum was detected in the majority of tumor patients (carcinomas of the uterus, head and neck, lung, rectal or prostate cancer). In prostate cancer, tissue Se concentrations were relatively elevated in the carcinoma centre as compared to the surrounding compartment or as compared to tumor samples from patients with benign prostatic hyperplasia. Adjuvant Se supplementation successfully corrected Se-deficiency in the patients analyzed and decreased radiotherapy-induced diarrhea in a randomized study of radiotherapy patients with carcinomas of the uterus. Survival data imply that Se supplementation did not interfere with radiation success. Some positive effects of supplemental Se in the prevention of ageusia (loss of taste) and dysphagia due to radiotherapy were noted in a second randomized trial in patients with head and neck cancer. We have not observed any adverse effects of supplemental Se in our studies. Conclusions: Se supplementation yielded promising results concerning radioprotection in tumor patients and should be considered as a promising adjuvant treatment option in subjects with a relative Se deficit. View Full-Text
Keywords: selenium; Radiation Oncology; selenium measurement; selenium supplementation selenium; Radiation Oncology; selenium measurement; selenium supplementation
MDPI and ACS Style

Muecke, R.; Micke, O.; Schomburg, L.; Buentzel, J.; Kisters, K.; Adamietz, I.A.; On behalf of AKTE. Selenium in Radiation Oncology—15 Years of Experiences in Germany. Nutrients 2018, 10, 483.

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