Selenium – meaning in the prevention and therapy of cancer diseases

(Org. Selen – znaczenie w profilaktyce i terapii schorzeń nowotworowych)

  • Anita Molenda Center of Oncology – Marii Skłodowskiej-Curie Memorial Institute, Branch in Kraków, 31-115 Kraków, ul. Garncarska 11
  • Bożena Muszyńska Department of Pharmaceutical Botany, Faculty of Pharmacy, Jagiellonian University, Medical College, Medyczna 9, 30-688 Kraków, Poland


Selenium is a trace element supplied to the human body with food of plant and animal origin. It is a component of many enzymes with antioxidant activity, such as: glutathione peroxidase, seleniumprotein P, thioredoxin reductase and phospholipid hydroperoxide glutathione peroxidase. Being a component of enzymes, it protects cells against deformation and genetic damage thanks to the properties that inhibit the processes of lipid peroxidation, nucleic acids (DNA, RNA).

The human body contains about 10-15 mg of selenium, 60% of which is found in erythrocytes, and 40% in blood. The problem of Poland and neighboring countries is the lack of this element in the soil, and therefore in the organisms of herbivorous farm animals. The lack of selenium in the meat of these animals causes significant deficiencies in the human body. In addition, due to the lack of this element in the soil, vegetables and preparations obtained from it do not constitute a suitable dietary source and intensify the problem of defficiency of this element in Europeans.

Many studies indicate that both organic and inorganic selenium compounds reduce the progression of cancer by reducing the migration of cancer cells, inhibiting angiogenesis, and consequently reduce metastases.

How to Cite
MOLENDA, Anita; MUSZYŃSKA, Bożena. Selenium – meaning in the prevention and therapy of cancer diseases. Medicina Internacia Revuo - International Medicine Review, [S.l.], v. 27, n. 109, p. 272-279, dec. 2017. ISSN 0465-5435. Available at: <>. Date accessed: 14 aug. 2018.
Review publication