Women with ovarian cancer were treated with chemotherapy and a synergistic combination of selenium and vitamin E. Some patients with ovarian cancer were not given selenium for the purpose of comparison. The side effects of the chemotherapy were recorded and the malondialdehyde (MDA) levels of the patients were tested as a measure of oxidative damage to the patients during chemotherapy.
MDA levels were reduced when 200 mcg. selenium had been given, evidence for reduced oxidative damage to the body. This patients had fewer side effects after selenium, except for diarrhea. With selenium treatment, higher levels of selenium were found in the blood and hair. Without supplementation, the levels of selenium gradually decreased. Selenium increased neutrophil white blood cell counts and supported white blood cell regeneration after chemotherapy. Selenium did not alter hair loss.
CONCLUSION: Selenium appears to be a beneficial supplement during chemotherapy for ovarian cancer. It reduces side effects and oxidative damage to the body.