Prospective study of serum vitamin E levels and esophageal and gastric cancers

Philip R. Taylor, You Lin Qiao, Christian C. Abnet, Sanford M. Dawsey, Chung S. Yang, Elaine W. Gunter, Wen Wang, William J. Blot, Zhi Wei Dong, Steven D. Mark

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

113 Scopus citations


Participants in the General Population Trial, a randomized nutrition intervention trial in Linxian, China, who received a combination of selenium, β-carotene, and vitamin E supplements, had statistically significantly lower cancer mortality rates than those who did not receive the supplements. In the current study, we used a case-cohort design to examine the association between pre-trial serum vitamin E levels and the risks of developing esophageal and gastric cancers during the trial. We measured serum α- and γ-tocopherol and cholesterol levels in 1072 case patients with incident esophageal squamous cell carcinoma (ESCC), gastric cardia cancer (GCC), or gastric noncardia cancer (GNCC) and in 1053 control subjects. The relative risks for comparisons of the highest to the lowest quartiles of serum α-tocopherol were 0.63 (95% confidence interval [CI] = 0.44 to 0.91) for ESCC, 0.84 (95% CI = 0.55 to 1.26) for GCC, and 2.05 (95% CI = 0.89 to 4.75) for GNCC. Serum γ-tocopherol level was not associated with the incidence of any of these cancers. Our findings provide support for the role of α-tocopherol in the etiology of upper gastrointestinal cancers.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1414-1416
Number of pages3
JournalJournal of the National Cancer Institute
Issue number18
StatePublished - Sep 17 2003

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Oncology
  • Cancer Research


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