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Effects of supplemental alpha-tocopherol and beta-carotene on colorectal cancer: results from a controlled trial (Finland)

Abstract

BACKGROUND

Some epidemiological investigations suggest that higher intake or biochemical status of vitamin E and beta-carotene might be associated with reduced risk of colorectal cancer.

METHODS

We tested the effects of alpha-tocopherol and beta-carotene supplementation on the incidence of colorectal cancer in the Alpha-Tocopherol, Beta-Carotene Cancer Prevention (ATBC) Study, a double-blind, placebo-controlled trial among 29,133 50-69-year-old male cigarette smokers. Participants were randomly assigned to receive alpha-tocopherol (50 mg), beta-carotene (20 mg), both agents, or a placebo daily for 5-8 years. Incident colorectal cancers (n = 135) were identified through the nationwide cancer registry, and 99% were histologically confirmed. Intervention effects were evaluated using survival analysis and proportional hazards models.

RESULTS

Colorectal cancer incidence was somewhat lower in the alpha-tocopherol arm compared to the no alpha-tocopherol arm, but this finding was not statistically significant (relative risk (RR) = 0.78, 95% confidence interval (CI) 0.55-1.09; log-rank test p = 0.15). Beta-carotene had no effect on colorectal cancer incidence (RR = 1.05, 95% CI 0.75-1.47; log-rank test p = 0.78). There was no interaction between the two substances.

CONCLUSION

Our study found no evidence of a beneficial or harmful effect for beta-carotene in colorectal cancer in older male smokers, but does provide suggestive evidence that vitamin E supplementation may have had a modest preventive effect. The latter finding is in accord with previous research linking higher vitamin E status to reduced colorectal cancer risk.

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  • Authors+Show Affiliations

    ,

    Division of Clinical Sciences, National Cancer Institute, NIH, Bethesda, MD, 20892, USA.

    , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

    Source

    Cancer causes & control : CCC 11:3 2000 Mar pg 197-205

    MeSH

    Aged
    Colorectal Neoplasms
    Dietary Supplements
    Double-Blind Method
    Finland
    Humans
    Incidence
    Male
    Middle Aged
    Risk Factors
    Smoking
    Vitamin E
    beta Carotene

    Pub Type(s)

    Clinical Trial
    Journal Article
    Randomized Controlled Trial
    Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

    Language

    eng

    PubMed ID

    10782653

    Citation

    Albanes, D, et al. "Effects of Supplemental Alpha-tocopherol and Beta-carotene On Colorectal Cancer: Results From a Controlled Trial (Finland)." Cancer Causes & Control : CCC, vol. 11, no. 3, 2000, pp. 197-205.
    Albanes D, Malila N, Taylor PR, et al. Effects of supplemental alpha-tocopherol and beta-carotene on colorectal cancer: results from a controlled trial (Finland). Cancer Causes Control. 2000;11(3):197-205.
    Albanes, D., Malila, N., Taylor, P. R., Huttunen, J. K., Virtamo, J., Edwards, B. K., ... Heinonen, O. P. (2000). Effects of supplemental alpha-tocopherol and beta-carotene on colorectal cancer: results from a controlled trial (Finland). Cancer Causes & Control : CCC, 11(3), pp. 197-205.
    Albanes D, et al. Effects of Supplemental Alpha-tocopherol and Beta-carotene On Colorectal Cancer: Results From a Controlled Trial (Finland). Cancer Causes Control. 2000;11(3):197-205. PubMed PMID: 10782653.
    * Article titles in AMA citation format should be in sentence-case
    TY - JOUR T1 - Effects of supplemental alpha-tocopherol and beta-carotene on colorectal cancer: results from a controlled trial (Finland) AU - Albanes,D, AU - Malila,N, AU - Taylor,P R, AU - Huttunen,J K, AU - Virtamo,J, AU - Edwards,B K, AU - Rautalahti,M, AU - Hartman,A M, AU - Barrett,M J, AU - Pietinen,P, AU - Hartman,T J, AU - Sipponen,P, AU - Lewin,K, AU - Teerenhovi,L, AU - Hietanen,P, AU - Tangrea,J A, AU - Virtanen,M, AU - Heinonen,O P, PY - 2000/4/27/pubmed PY - 2000/7/6/medline PY - 2000/4/27/entrez SP - 197 EP - 205 JF - Cancer causes & control : CCC JO - Cancer Causes Control VL - 11 IS - 3 N2 - BACKGROUND: Some epidemiological investigations suggest that higher intake or biochemical status of vitamin E and beta-carotene might be associated with reduced risk of colorectal cancer. METHODS: We tested the effects of alpha-tocopherol and beta-carotene supplementation on the incidence of colorectal cancer in the Alpha-Tocopherol, Beta-Carotene Cancer Prevention (ATBC) Study, a double-blind, placebo-controlled trial among 29,133 50-69-year-old male cigarette smokers. Participants were randomly assigned to receive alpha-tocopherol (50 mg), beta-carotene (20 mg), both agents, or a placebo daily for 5-8 years. Incident colorectal cancers (n = 135) were identified through the nationwide cancer registry, and 99% were histologically confirmed. Intervention effects were evaluated using survival analysis and proportional hazards models. RESULTS: Colorectal cancer incidence was somewhat lower in the alpha-tocopherol arm compared to the no alpha-tocopherol arm, but this finding was not statistically significant (relative risk (RR) = 0.78, 95% confidence interval (CI) 0.55-1.09; log-rank test p = 0.15). Beta-carotene had no effect on colorectal cancer incidence (RR = 1.05, 95% CI 0.75-1.47; log-rank test p = 0.78). There was no interaction between the two substances. CONCLUSION: Our study found no evidence of a beneficial or harmful effect for beta-carotene in colorectal cancer in older male smokers, but does provide suggestive evidence that vitamin E supplementation may have had a modest preventive effect. The latter finding is in accord with previous research linking higher vitamin E status to reduced colorectal cancer risk. SN - 0957-5243 UR - https://www.unboundmedicine.com/medline/citation/10782653/Effects_of_supplemental_alpha_tocopherol_and_beta_carotene_on_colorectal_cancer:_results_from_a_controlled_trial__Finland_ L2 - http://ovidsp.ovid.com/ovidweb.cgi?T=JS&PAGE=linkout&SEARCH=10782653.ui DB - PRIME DP - Unbound Medicine ER -