Selenium in the Treatment of Arsenic Toxicity and Cancers (SETAC)

The safety and scientific validity of this study is the responsibility of the study sponsor and investigators. Listing a study does not mean it has been evaluated by the U.S. Federal Government. Read our disclaimer for details. Identifier: NCT01442727
Recruitment Status : Completed
First Posted : September 28, 2011
Last Update Posted : October 7, 2011
National Cancer Institute (NCI)
American Cancer Society, Inc.
Information provided by (Responsible Party):
Julian Spallholz, Texas Tech University

Brief Summary:

Context: Approximately 100 million people throughout the world consume water contaminated with arsenic at levels above carcinogenic thresholds, including 40 million in Bangladesh alone, with up to one-fourth of deaths attributed to arsenic exposure in the worst-affected regions. There are no proven therapies for treating chronic arsenic toxicity or for preventing arsenical cancers. Selenium has been known to counter arsenic toxicity in a variety of animal models. The investigators have recently shown in animals and humans that this effect is mediated by the formation of [(GS)2AsSe]- , the seleno-bis(S-glutathionyl) arsinium ion, which is then rapidly excreted via the hepatobiliary system. Concurrently, two Phase II studies in China and Bangladesh have suggested clinical benefit to selenium supplementation in arsenicosis patients.

Objective: To assess whether daily selenium supplementation counters arsenic toxicity in patients exposed to drinking water arsenic. If proven effective, selenium supplementation might be safely and cost-effectively implemented in the worst-affected localities.

Condition or disease Intervention/treatment Phase
Arsenical Melanosis Arsenical Keratosis Arsenical Cancers Arsenicosis Arsenic Exposure Arsenic Toxicity Arsenic Poisoning Drug: sodium selenite Drug: placebo Phase 3

Study Type : Interventional  (Clinical Trial)
Actual Enrollment : 819 participants
Allocation: Randomized
Intervention Model: Parallel Assignment
Masking: Triple (Participant, Care Provider, Investigator)
Primary Purpose: Treatment
Official Title: Selenite in the Detoxification of Arsenic and the Prevention of Arsenical Melanosis and Cancers Amongst Bangladeshi Arsenicosis Patients: A 48-week, Randomized, Double-blinded, Placebo-controlled Phase III Trial
Study Start Date : December 2006
Actual Primary Completion Date : April 2009
Actual Study Completion Date : April 2009

Arm Intervention/treatment
Placebo Comparator: Placebo
Patients who receive control (placebo)
Drug: placebo
dicalcium phosphate capsule matching the selenium capsule in appearance; consumed once daily with breakfast

Active Comparator: Selenium
Patients who receive treatment (selenium)
Drug: sodium selenite
200 micrograms (µg) of selenium in the form of sodium selenite; capsule form consumed once daily with breakfast.
Other Names:
  • selenium
  • selenite

Primary Outcome Measures :
  1. changes in arsenical melanosis [ Time Frame: 0 weeks (baseline), 24 weeks, and 48 weeks (end) ]
    Arsenical melanosis was recorded in 4 quadrants of each patients' torsos using the Dermlite epiluminescence microscopy system. The images were then scored in a blinded, randomized fashion by a dermatologist.

Secondary Outcome Measures :
  1. changes in blood arsenic levels [ Time Frame: week 0, week 24 and week 48 ]
    The levels of arsenic in patients' blood was measured to determine whether intervention had a differential effect.

  2. changes in urinary arsenic levels [ Time Frame: week 0, week 24 and week 48 ]
    The levels of arsenic in patients' urine was measured to determine whether intervention had a differential effect.

Information from the National Library of Medicine

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Ages Eligible for Study:   12 Years to 55 Years   (Child, Adult)
Sexes Eligible for Study:   All
Accepts Healthy Volunteers:   No

Inclusion Criteria:

  • Resident of Bangladesh in an arsenic-affected region (Chandpur)
  • Age between 12 and 55
  • Exposure to arsenic in home drinking water greater than 50 ug/L.
  • Arsenical melanosis on the torso confirmed by epiluminescence microscopy

Exclusion Criteria:

  • Recent history or plans to consume selenium-containing supplements
  • Anticipated change in home drinking water supply during study period

Information from the National Library of Medicine

To learn more about this study, you or your doctor may contact the study research staff using the contact information provided by the sponsor.

Please refer to this study by its identifier (NCT number): NCT01442727

SETAC Trial Field Office
Kalibari town, Chandpur District, Bangladesh
Sponsors and Collaborators
Texas Tech University
National Cancer Institute (NCI)
American Cancer Society, Inc.
Principal Investigator: Julian E Spallholz, PhD Texas Tech University
Principal Investigator: Paul F La Porte, PhD Pritzker School of Medicine, The University of Chicago
Principal Investigator: Selim Ahmed, MBBS, FCPS Institute of Child & Mother Health, Dhaka, Bangladesh

Additional Information:
Responsible Party: Julian Spallholz, Professor of Nutrition & Biochemistry, Division of Nutritional Sciences, College of Human Sciences, Texas Tech University., Texas Tech University Identifier: NCT01442727     History of Changes
Other Study ID Numbers: TTU-JES-1
1R21CA117111-01 ( U.S. NIH Grant/Contract )
ROG-06-098-01 ( Other Grant/Funding Number: The American Cancer Society )
First Posted: September 28, 2011    Key Record Dates
Last Update Posted: October 7, 2011
Last Verified: October 2011

Keywords provided by Julian Spallholz, Texas Tech University:
arsenical melanosis
arsenical melanoses
arsenical keratosis
arsenical keratoses
arsenical cancer
arsenic cancers
arsenic exposure
arsenic toxicity
arsenic poisoning
drinking water
sodium selenite

Additional relevant MeSH terms:
Keratosis, Actinic
Arsenic Poisoning
Skin Diseases
Precancerous Conditions
Chemically-Induced Disorders
Heavy Metal Poisoning, Nervous System
Neurotoxicity Syndromes
Nervous System Diseases
Pigmentation Disorders
Selenious Acid
Sodium Selenite
Molecular Mechanisms of Pharmacological Action
Protective Agents
Physiological Effects of Drugs
Trace Elements
Growth Substances