Investigation of trace metals in the blood plasma and scalp hair of gastrointestinal cancer patients in comparison with controls


Gastrointestinal cancer is one of the most common types of cancer which is predominantly associated with the environmental factors. The carcinogenic processes are linked with the imbalances of trace metals in body fluid and tissues.


Trace metals (Cd, Cr, Cu, Fe, Ni, Pb and Zn) are estimated in blood plasma and scalp hair of the cancer patients and controls employing nitric acid–perchloric acid based wet-digestion followed by atomic absorption spectrophotometric method.


The mean concentrations of Cd, Cr, Cu and Ni were found to be significantly higher in the plasma of patients compared with the controls, however, appreciably higher concentrations of Fe and Zn were observed in the plasma of controls. The average scalp hair concentrations of Zn, Fe, Pb, Cu and Cd were notably higher in the patients than controls. The correlation study revealed significantly different mutual variations of the trace metals in the plasma and scalp hair of the patients and controls. The apportionment of trace metals in the plasma and scalp hair of the patients and controls was also considerably different.


The study revealed that the carcinogenic processes are significantly affecting the trace metal burden and mutual variations in the cancerous patients compared with the controls.

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