Application of SEC-ICP-MS for comparative analyses of metal-containing species in cancerous and healthy human thyroid samples

Anal Bioanal Chem. 2004 Sep;380(2):198-203. doi: 10.1007/s00216-004-2699-6. Epub 2004 Jul 20.


Size exclusion chromatography (SEC) was coupled on-line to inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry (ICP-MS) for speciation study of trace metals in cancerous thyroid tissues in comparison to healthy thyroids aimed to estimation of changes in metalloprotein speciation in pathological tissue. The study showed a presence of species binding Cu, Zn, Cd and Pb in healthy thyroid tissue with a good reproducibility of chromatographic results, whereas the same species could not be detected in cancerous tissues. Thus, remarkable differences with respect to metal-binding species were revealed between healthy and pathological thyroid samples, pointing out a completely different distribution of trace metals in cancerous tissues. The metal-binding species could not be identified in the frame of this work because of a lack of appropriate standards. Nevertheless, the results obtained confirm the suitability of SEC-ICP-MS for monitoring of changes in trace metal distribution in cancerous tissue and will help to better understand the role of metal-containing species in thyroid pathology.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Chromatography, Gel / methods*
  • Humans
  • In Vitro Techniques
  • Mass Spectrometry / methods
  • Metals / analysis*
  • Thyroid Gland / chemistry*
  • Thyroid Neoplasms / chemistry*
  • Trace Elements / analysis*


  • Metals
  • Trace Elements