The Mailman School is combining its research efforts with the International Center for Diarrheal Disease Research, Bangladesh, Centre for Health and Population Research, an internationally renowned public health research institution based in Bangladesh, to investigate whether vitamin E and/or selenium has a beneficial effect in reducing skin and other cancers.
The study led by Habibul Ahsan, MD, MMedSc, associate professor and director of the Center for Genetics in Epidemiology in the Department of Epidemiology at the Mailman School of Public Health, also will be coordinated by the Herbert Irving Comprehensive Cancer Center (HICCC) at Columbia University Medical Center and NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital. The HICCC is one of only three NIH-designated Comprehensive Cancer Centers in New York State.
Skin cancer is the most common arsenic-related cancer. Nearly 100 million people in the world are chronically exposed to arsenic and, therefore, are at increased risk of skin and other arsenic-induced cancers. Arsenic has been shown to produce mutations in cancer causing genes, but it is also believed that antioxidants, such as vitamin E and selenium, may impede the carcinogenic effects.
"If the research confirms that supplementing one's diet with vitamin E and/or selenium, has an impact on changes of pre-malignant skin lesions and its progression to skin cancer, the results could provide essential data on potential low-cost interventions for reducing the cancer risk among millions of arsen
Contact: Stephanie Berger
Columbia University's Mailman School of Public Health