Assay for erythrocyte superoxide dismutase activity in patients with lung cancer and effects on pollution and smoke trace elements

Biol Trace Elem Res. 1997 Dec;60(3):215-26. doi: 10.1007/BF02784441.


The antioxidative effect of CuZnSOD, which catalyzes the dismutation of superoxide anion (O2-), provides a defense against the oxygen toxicity. The object of the study is to evaluate the erythrocytes superoxide dismutase (SOD) activity in two groups of persons (Group I, healthy blood donors; Group II, lung cancer patients), using the spectrophotometric assay of NADH oxidation and the indirect method. The effect of trace elements, such as Al3-, Cr3+, Fe3+, Hg2+, NI2+, and Pb2+ (producing free radicals oxygen and present in pollution and smoke) is also evaluated. The results show the decrease of SOD activity in lung cancer patients with respect to healthy individuals. Likewise, in those patients the enzymatic activity is bigger in early stage (I,II) with respect to advanced one (III) (p < 0.05). The lesser activity when the samples are incubated with Ni or Pb point out that these metals play a role in neoplasm development. In short, the oxidant-antioxidant balance is altered in lung cancer patients.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study

MeSH terms

  • Adenocarcinoma / blood
  • Adenocarcinoma / enzymology
  • Adenocarcinoma / etiology
  • Aged
  • Carcinoma, Large Cell / blood
  • Carcinoma, Large Cell / enzymology
  • Carcinoma, Large Cell / etiology
  • Carcinoma, Non-Small-Cell Lung / blood
  • Carcinoma, Non-Small-Cell Lung / enzymology
  • Carcinoma, Non-Small-Cell Lung / etiology
  • Carcinoma, Small Cell / blood
  • Carcinoma, Small Cell / enzymology
  • Carcinoma, Small Cell / etiology
  • Carcinoma, Squamous Cell / blood
  • Carcinoma, Squamous Cell / enzymology
  • Carcinoma, Squamous Cell / etiology
  • Environmental Pollutants / adverse effects*
  • Environmental Pollutants / analysis
  • Erythrocytes / drug effects
  • Erythrocytes / enzymology*
  • Female
  • Free Radicals
  • Humans
  • Lung Neoplasms / blood
  • Lung Neoplasms / enzymology*
  • Lung Neoplasms / etiology
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • NAD / chemistry
  • Neoplasm Staging
  • Oxidation-Reduction
  • Spectrophotometry, Ultraviolet
  • Superoxide Dismutase / blood*
  • Tobacco Smoke Pollution / adverse effects*
  • Tobacco Smoke Pollution / analysis
  • Trace Elements / adverse effects*
  • Trace Elements / analysis


  • Environmental Pollutants
  • Free Radicals
  • Tobacco Smoke Pollution
  • Trace Elements
  • NAD
  • Superoxide Dismutase