Redox status expressed as GSH:GSSG ratio as a marker for oxidative stress in paediatric tumour patients

Oncol Lett. 2012 Dec;4(6):1247-1253. doi: 10.3892/ol.2012.931. Epub 2012 Sep 21.


Oxidative stress causes profound alterations of various biological structures, including cellular membranes, lipids, proteins and nucleic acids, and it is involved in numerous malignancies. Reduced glutathione (GSH) is considered to be one of the most important scavengers of reactive oxygen species (ROS), and its ratio with oxidised glutathione (GSSG) may be used as a marker of oxidative stress. The main aim of this study was to determine GSH:GSSG ratio in the blood serum of paediatric cancer patients to use this ratio as a potential marker of oxidative stress. The whole procedure was optimised and the recoveries for both substances were greater than 80% under the optimised conditions. We analysed a group of paediatric patients (n=116) with various types of cancer, including neuroblastoma, anaplastic ependymoma, germ cell tumour, genital tract tumour, lymphadenopathy, rhabdomyosarcoma, nephroblastoma, Ewing's sarcoma, osteosarcoma, Hodgkin's lymphoma, medulloblastoma and retinoblastoma. We simultaneously determined the levels of reduced and oxidised glutathione, and thus, its ratio in the blood serum of the patients. The highest ratio was observed in retinoblastoma patients and the lowest in anaplastic ependymoma. We were able to distinguish between the diagnoses based on the results of the obtained GSH:GSSG ratio.