Selenium in Radiation Oncology-15 Years of Experiences in Germany

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.

Nutrients. 2018 Apr 13*** epublish ***

Ralph Muecke, Oliver Micke, Lutz Schomburg, Jens Buentzel, Klaus Kisters, Irenaeus A Adamietz, AKTE

Radiotherapy RheinMainNahe, 55543 Bad Kreuznach, 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. ., Department of Radiotherapy and Radiation Oncology, Marien Hospital Herne, Ruhr University Bochum, 44801 Bochum, Germany. .