Toenail selenium, which reflects long-term selenium intake, is associated with a decrease in the risk of advanced prostate cancer (PCa), especially during later follow-up, according to a study presented at the annual meeting of the American Association for Cancer Research in Washington, D.C.

Milan S. Geybels, from Maastrich University in the Netherlands, and colleagues examined the correlation between toenail selenium and the risk of advanced PCa using data from 58,279 men, aged 55 to 69 years, from the Netherlands Cohort study. A total of 898 cases of advanced prostate cancer were identified during 17.3 years of follow-up.

The risk of advanced PCa decreased with increasing quintiles of toenail selenium. Compared with the first quintile, the second, third, fourth, and fifth quintiles were associated with a 31%, 55%, 68%, and 76% deceased risk.For men diagnosed during later follow-up, the correlation was more pronounced.

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“Our findings need to be replicated in further prospective studies, with an extended follow-up for the assessment of incident advanced prostate cancer, and with a wide range of toenail selenium that includes low selenium levels,” Geybels said in a statement. “If our results can be confirmed, a prevention trial of selenium and prostate cancer in a low-selenium population may be justified.”