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LMU 259 – The Impact of Selenium Blood Levels on Melanoma Survival: Insights from Recent Studies


The Impact of Selenium Blood Levels on Melanoma Survival: Insights from Recent Studies

Source: J Biomedicines 2021

Lifestyle Medicine Update (September 26, 2022)


A critical study published in 2021 in the journal “Biomedicines” has shed light on the relationship between selenium blood levels and survival outcomes for individuals previously treated for melanoma. This research highlights the significance of selenium in combating cancer and emphasizes the need to maintain optimal blood levels for a better prognosis.

Melanoma: A Looming Threat

 Melanoma remains one of the most aggressive human malignancies, with staggering global statistics:
  • Over 320,000 new cases were diagnosed worldwide in 2020.
  • 57,000 deaths were reported in the same year.
Alarming trend:
  • Incidence rates increased by 50% over the last decade.
  • Deaths surged by 32% in the same period.
WHO prediction:
  • Anticipated 20% increase in melanoma-related deaths by 2025.
  • A further surge of 74% by 2040

Selenium’s Potential Protective Role

Preventive measures: Besides limiting UV light exposure, maintaining ideal selenium blood levels may offer protection against melanoma.
Selenium’s cellular and molecular impact
Participates in various anti-cancer activities, including:
  • Reducing DNA damage
  • Mitigating oxidative stress (free radical stress) and inflammation
  • Detoxifying carcinogens
  • Enhancing the immune response
  • Influencing DNA methylation
  • Regulating the cell cycle
  • Inducing apoptosis (programmed cell death) of cancer cells
It is inhibiting tumor angiogenesis required for growth and metastasis.Selenium and Cancer: Literature Evidence
Association between selenium levels and cancer outcomes:
  • Literature data supports the connection between higher selenium levels and improved overall cancer outcomes.
  • Examples from studies:
  • Harris et al. suggested selenium may improve breast cancer-specific survival and overall survival.
  • Other publications indicate that low circulating selenium levels correlate with poorer survival in women with breast cancer.
  • Higher serum selenium levels at cancer diagnosis are associated with improved lung and larynx cancer outcomes.

Insights from the Melanoma Study

Study details:
  • Conducted in 2022, the study involved 375 melanoma patients from Poland.
  • Low serum selenium level (<76.44 µg/L) linked to increased mortality rate over ten years following diagnosis.
  • Blood samples were collected after a 12-14 hour fast and before any treatment other than surgical removal of the primary skin lesion.
Consistency with existing research:
  • Findings align with other studies indicating a correlation between selenium levels and melanoma prognosis.
  • Low selenium level might contribute to worse survival for patients with melanoma.

Optimizing Selenium Levels

  • Recommended selenium blood level:
    • Strive for levels above 77 ug/L to improve melanoma survival prospects.
  • Personal approach:
    • Consider daily supplementation of multivitamins and minerals containing 200 mcg of selenium.


Understanding the importance of selenium blood levels in melanoma survival provides valuable insights for preventive measures and treatment strategies. Maintaining optimal selenium levels may prove beneficial in mitigating the impact of this aggressive malignancy.

Dr. James Meschino


Dr. James Meschino, DC, MS, ROHP, is an educator, author, and researcher having lectured to thousands of healthcare professionals across North America. He holds a Master’s Degree in Science with specialties in human nutrition and biology and is recognized as an expert in the field of nutrition, anti-aging, fitness, and wellness as well as the author of numerous books.

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