gms | German Medical Science

27th German Cancer Congress Berlin 2006

German Cancer Society (Frankfurt/M.)

22. - 26.03.2006, Berlin

Selenium – A Novel Radiosensitizer?

Meeting Abstract

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  • corresponding author presenting/speaker Patrick Schüller - Strahlentherapie, Universitätsklinikum Münster, Deutschland
  • Sylvia Püttmann - Neuropathologie, Universitätsklinikum Münster
  • Oliver Micke - Strahlentherapie, Universitätsklinikum Münster

27. Deutscher Krebskongress. Berlin, 22.-26.03.2006. Düsseldorf, Köln: German Medical Science; 2006. DocPE464

The electronic version of this article is the complete one and can be found online at:

Published: March 20, 2006

© 2006 Schüller et al.
This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License ( You are free: to Share – to copy, distribute and transmit the work, provided the original author and source are credited.



Background: A radioprotective effect of low selenium doses on normal tissue and a possible radiosensitization of tumor cells at higher concentrations have been previously suggested. However, systematic experimental and clinical data are scarce.

Materials and Methods: C6 cells were cultured for 14 days at different selenite concentrations (0 µM, 2 µM, 3 µM and 3.6 µM) and irradiated with 0 Gy to 20 Gy. Plating efficiency and survival were determined using the colony assay.

Results: The overall radiosensitivity was low (D0,control=6.1 Gy). Irradiated cells exposed to increasing selenite concentrations showed a lower plating efficiency and, for doses > 2 Gy, a lower survival than the control. For Se concentrations of 0 µM, 2µM and 3 µM, respectively, SF2 amounted to 0.72, 0.48 and 0.46, and SF5 to 0.37, 0.25 and 0.12. Student’s t-test yielded a significant difference between the 0 µM and 3 µM curves at 5 Gy (p=0.02) and 10 Gy (p=0.009).

Conclusion: Our experiments suggest a radiosensitizing effect of selenite in glioma cells at concentrations of 2-3 µM.