Resurrection Health Care (RHC) is among 17 Chicago area health care organizations named as test sites in the newly launched SELECT trial to study the effects of selenium and vitamin E in preventing prostate cancer. SELECT - the Selenium and Vitamin E Cancer Prevention Trial - is the largest national clinical study ever undertaken on prostate cancer.

Selenium and vitamin E were chosen for the study because results of two previous cancer prevention trials for other types of cancer indicated that these nutrients have antioxidant properties that may provide preventive protection against prostate cancer. Selenium and vitamin E are capable of neutralizing toxins known as "free radicals" that might otherwise damage the genetic material of cells and possibly lead to cancer.

More that 198,000 Americans will be diagnosed with prostate cancer this year, and more than 31,500 men are expected to die of the disease. In Illinois, there will be an estimated 9,000 new cases and 1,400 deaths this year. Risk factors for the disease include being over age 55, being black or having a father or brother with prostate cancer.

More than 400 sites in the United States, Puerto Rico and Canada will be recruiting a total of 32,400 men for the SELECT study, which will take up to 12 years to complete. Participants will be followed for five years.

James P. Brown, M.D., a urologist on staff at Resurrection Medical Center and principal investigator for Resurrection Medical Center (RMC), participated in a news conference with physicians from other Chicago sites on July 24 to announce the new research study. Walter Falkowski, M.D., a urologist on staff at Saint Francis Hospital and RMC is the principal investigator for Saint Francis Hospital. All RHC hospitals can refer participants for the study.

Men may be able to participate in the study if they are 55 years of age or older (50 for black men), have never had prostate cancer and have not had any other cancer except non-melanoma skin cancer in the last five years and are generally in good health. For information on the study at Resurrection Health Care, call toll-free 877-397-7827.

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