Research article

BMC Cancer

, 13:214

First online:

Open Access This content is freely available online to anyone, anywhere at any time.

Can selenium levels act as a marker of colorectal cancer risk?

  • Marcin R LenerAffiliated withDepartment of Genetics and Pathology, International Hereditary Cancer Center, Pomeranian Medical University Email author 
  • , Satish GuptaAffiliated withDepartment of Genetics and Pathology, International Hereditary Cancer Center, Pomeranian Medical UniversityPostgraduate School of Molecular Medicine Medical University of Warsaw Email author 
  • , Rodney J ScottAffiliated withDiscipline of Medical Genetics, School of Biomedical Sciences, Faculty of Health, University of NewcastleThe Hunter Medical Research Institute
  • , Martin TootsiAffiliated withThe Estonian Genome Center, University of Tartu
  • , Maria KulpAffiliated withDepartment of Analytical Chemistry, Tallinn University of Technology
  • , Mari-Liis TammesooAffiliated withThe Estonian Genome Center, University of Tartu
  • , Anu ViitakAffiliated withDepartment of Analytical Chemistry, Tallinn University of Technology
  • , Anders MetspaluAffiliated withThe Estonian Genome Center, University of Tartu
  • , Pablo Serrano-FernándezAffiliated withDepartment of Genetics and Pathology, International Hereditary Cancer Center, Pomeranian Medical University
    • , Józef KładnyAffiliated withDepartment of General and Oncological Surgery, Pomeranian Medical University
    • , Katarzyna Jaworska-BieniekAffiliated withDepartment of Genetics and Pathology, International Hereditary Cancer Center, Pomeranian Medical UniversityPostgraduate School of Molecular Medicine Medical University of Warsaw
    • , Katarzyna DurdaAffiliated withDepartment of Genetics and Pathology, International Hereditary Cancer Center, Pomeranian Medical University
    • , Magdalena MuszyńskaAffiliated withDepartment of Genetics and Pathology, International Hereditary Cancer Center, Pomeranian Medical University
    • , Grzegorz SukiennickiAffiliated withDepartment of Genetics and Pathology, International Hereditary Cancer Center, Pomeranian Medical University
    • , Anna JakubowskaAffiliated withDepartment of Genetics and Pathology, International Hereditary Cancer Center, Pomeranian Medical University
    • , Jan LubińskiAffiliated withDepartment of Genetics and Pathology, International Hereditary Cancer Center, Pomeranian Medical University

Abstract

Background

Selenium has attracted attention because of its antioxidant properties. Antioxidants protects cells from damage. Certain breakdown products of selenium are believed to prevent tumor growth by enhancing the immune cell activity and suppressing the development of tumor blood vessels. In this observational study, selenium level was measured in a series of patients from Poland and Estonia to determine a correlation between levels of this microelement and colorectal cancer risk.

Methods

A total of 169 colorectal cancer patients and 169 healthy controls were enrolled in the study after obtaining their informed consent. Selenium level in the blood serum was measured using Graphite Furnace Atomic Absorption Spectrometry (GFAAS). The statistical analysis was performed by Fisher’s exact test.

Results

The threshold point of selenium level was 55 μg/l and 65 μg/l for Poland and Estonia respectively, for an increase in cancer risk. The lower levels of selenium were associated with greater risk of colorectal cancer.

Conclusions

The result reveals a significant strong association between low selenium level and the colorectal cancer risk in both Estonian and Polish populations.

Keywords

Selenium Colorectal Cancer risk Dietary supplement