Association between oxidative stress and changes of trace elements in patients with breast cancer

Clin Biochem. 1999 Mar;32(2):131-6. doi: 10.1016/s0009-9120(98)00096-4.


Objectives: To investigate the association between oxidative stress and certain trace elements in the blood of breast cancer patients.

Design and methods: Malondialdehyde (MDA) was measured in serum of patients with breast cancer (n = 35) and controls (n = 35) by high performance liquid chromatography. Trace elements were determined by atomic absorption spectrophotometry.

Results: In the present study, significantly increased lipid peroxidation, measured as MDA, was demonstrated in the serum of breast cancer patients (p < 0.01). The concentrations of zinc and iron remained unaltered. However, the mean serum copper level in patients with breast cancer was significantly higher than the control group (p < 0.01). In addition, the mean serum selenium level in patients with stage III was significantly lower than the control group (p < 0.05). Moreover, a positive correlation was also observed between copper and MDA levels in the patient group but not in the control group.

Conclusion: In the present study, the presence of an association between oxidative stress and trace elements was observed in patients with breast cancer. We suggest that increased oxidative stress in patients with breast cancer may result from changes in the levels of certain trace elements.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Controlled Clinical Trial
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Breast Neoplasms / metabolism*
  • Copper / blood
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Iron / blood
  • Malondialdehyde / blood
  • Middle Aged
  • Neoplasm Staging
  • Oxidative Stress*
  • Reference Values
  • Selenium / blood
  • Trace Elements / blood*
  • Zinc / blood


  • Trace Elements
  • Malondialdehyde
  • Copper
  • Iron
  • Selenium
  • Zinc