Acute-phase reactants and plasma trace element concentrations in non-small cell lung cancer patients and controls

Nutr Cancer. 1997;28(3):308-12. doi: 10.1080/01635589709514592.


This study examined the effect of an acute-phase response on plasma trace element concentrations of non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) patients. In normal subjects (n = 13) and NSCLC patients (n = 22), fasting concentrations of albumin, C-reactive protein, the trace elements iron, zinc, copper, and selenium, and their associated proteins transferrin, albumin, ceruloplasmin, and glutathione peroxidase were measured. The NSCLC patients were subdivided into two equal groups depending on whether they had a C-reactive protein concentration < 35 mg/l (Group 1) or > 35 mg/l (Group 2). Circulating zinc, iron, and transferrin concentrations were significantly lower in NSCLC Group 1 than in the control group (p < 0.05). Circulating concentrations of iron, zinc, and the binding proteins transferrin and albumin were significantly lower in NSCLC Group 2 than in the control group and NSCLC Group 1 (zinc not significantly different) (p < 0.01). In contrast circulating concentrations of copper and its binding protein ceruloplasmin were significantly increased in NSCLC Group 2 compared with NSCLC Group 1 and the control group (p < 0.01). Additionally, plasma selenium and glutathione peroxidase concentrations were significantly lower (p < 0.05) in NSCLC Group 2 than in NSCLC Group 1 and the control group. In the NSCLC patients there were significant negative correlations between concentrations of C-reactive protein and iron, transferrin, zinc, albumin, and selenium (p < 0.05). Furthermore, there were also significant positive correlations between C-reactive protein and copper (r = 0.788, p < 0.001) and ceruloplasmin (r = 0.831, p < 0.001) concentrations. The presence of an acute-phase response has implications for the interpretation of circulating trace element concentrations, the status of patients with NSCLC, and supplementation with trace elements in patients with NSCLC.

MeSH terms

  • Acute-Phase Proteins / analysis*
  • Aged
  • C-Reactive Protein / analysis
  • Carcinoma, Non-Small-Cell Lung / blood*
  • Ceruloplasmin / analysis
  • Copper / blood
  • Female
  • Glutathione Peroxidase / blood
  • Humans
  • Iron / blood
  • Lung Neoplasms / blood*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Selenium / blood
  • Serum Albumin / analysis
  • Trace Elements / blood*
  • Transferrin / analysis
  • Zinc / blood


  • Acute-Phase Proteins
  • Serum Albumin
  • Trace Elements
  • Transferrin
  • Copper
  • C-Reactive Protein
  • Iron
  • Glutathione Peroxidase
  • Ceruloplasmin
  • Selenium
  • Zinc