Clinica chimica acta; international journal of clinical chemistry

Interaction between carcinogenic and anti-carcinogenic trace elements in the scalp hair samples of different types of Pakistani female cancer patients.

PMID 25446879


It was investigated that carcinogenic processes are linked with the imbalances of essential trace and toxic elements in body fluid and tissues of human. In this study, the relationship between carcinogenic elements, arsenic (As), cadmium (Cd), and nickel (Ni), and anti-carcinogenic elements, selenium (Se) and zinc (Zn), in the scalp hair of different female cancer patients (breast, cervix, mouth and ovarian) was studied. The scalp hair samples were collected from cancer patients and referent female subjects of the same age group and socioeconomic status. The scalp hair samples were oxidized by 65% nitric acid and 30% hydrogen peroxide by microwave oven and analyzed by atomic absorption spectrometry. The validity and accuracy of the methodology were checked using certified reference material of human hair (BCR 397). The mean concentrations of As, Cd, and Ni were found to be significantly higher in the scalp hair samples of cancerous patients as compared to referents, while reverse results were obtained in the case of Zn and Se (p<0.01). The study revealed that low level of trace elements (Se, Zn) and high level of heavy elements (As, Cd, and Ni) were associated with increased risk of cancer.