Alpha-Tocopherol and beta-carotene supplements and lung cancer incidence in the alpha-tocopherol, beta-carotene cancer prevention study: effects of base-line characteristics and study compliance

Journal of the National Cancer Institute
D AlbanesJ K Huttunen


Experimental and epidemiologic investigations suggest that alpha-tocopherol (the most prevalent chemical form of vitamin E found in vegetable oils, seeds, grains, nuts, and other foods) and beta-carotene (a plant pigment and major precursor of vitamin A found in many yellow, orange, and dark-green, leafy vegetables and some fruit) might reduce the risk of cancer, particularly lung cancer. The initial findings of the Alpha-Tocopherol, Beta-Carotene Cancer Prevention Study (ATBC Study) indicated, however, that lung cancer incidence was increased among participants who received beta-carotene as a supplement. Similar results were recently reported by the Beta-Carotene and Retinol Efficacy Trial (CARET), which tested a combination of beta-carotene and vitamin A. We examined the effects of alpha-tocopherol and beta-carotene supplementation on the incidence of lung cancer across subgroups of participants in the ATBC Study defined by base-line characteristics (e.g., age, number of cigarettes smoked, dietary or serum vitamin status, and alcohol consumption), by study compliance, and in relation to clinical factors, such as disease stage and histologic type. Our primary purpose was to determine whether the pattern of intervention effects...Continue Reading


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