Background: Ovarian cancer is the leading cause of death due to gynecological malignancies among women. The extent of free radical induced oxidative stress can be exacerbated by the decreased efficiency of antioxidant mechanisms. The present study was conducted to investigate the extent of oxidative stress and the levels of antioxidants in the circulation of ovarian cancer patients.
Methods: Plasma thiobarbituric acid reactive substances (TBARS) and conjugated dienes (CD) and the levels of antioxidants such as superoxide dismutase (SOD), catalase (CAT), vitamin C and vitamin E were estimated in the circulation of 30 ovarian cancer patients and an equal number of age-matched normal subjects as control.
Results: Significantly increased concentrations of plasma TBARS and CD and significantly lowered levels of SOD, CAT, vitamin C and vitamin E were observed in ovarian cancer patients as compared with normal subjects.
Conclusion: The low levels of SOD, CAT, vitamin C and vitamin E in the plasma of ovarian cancer patients may be due to their increased utilization to scavenge lipid peroxides as well as their sequestration by tumor cells. Increased levels of lipid peroxidation may be due to excessive oxidative stress caused by incessant ovulation or epithelial inflammation.