Serum concentrations of Cu, Se, Fe and Zn in patients diagnosed with pancreatic cancer

  • Marcin Lener
  • Anna Wiechowska-Kozlowska
  • Rodney J Scott
  • Magdalena Muszynska
  • Jozef Kladny
  • Piotr Waloszczyk
  • Anna Rutkowska
  • Grzegorz Sukiennicki
  • Tomasz Gromowski
  • Katarzyna Jaworska-Bieniek
  • Thierry van de Wetering
  • Katarzyna Kaczmarek
  • Anna Jakubowska
  • Jan Lubinski
Open Access
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Keywords

Selenium Pancreatic Cancer Inductively Couple Plasma Mass Spectrometry Pancreatic Tumor Inductively Couple Plasma 

Introduction

Pancreatic cancer is the eighth most commonly diagnosed cancer in the developed world and has one of the worst prognoses of any malignancy with 98% succumbing to their disease within 5 years. Little is known about the etiology of the disease despite significant new insights into the mutation signatures common to this disease. The antioxidants, including vitamins C, E, Se, Zn might prevent pancreatic cancer. In the current study we have examined the levels of Cu, Fe, Zn and Se in a moderately sized pancreatic cancer population and compared it to a healthy age-matched population.

Material and methods

A total of 48 pancreatic cancer patients and 48 aged-matched healthy controls were enrolled in the study after providing informed consent. The patients with pancreatic cancer were enrolled to the study from the Hospital of the Ministry of Internal Affairs and Administration in Szczecin, Poland. For each pancreatic cancer patient included in this study an unaffected individual registered in International Hereditary Cancer Center, Pomeranian Medical University of Szczecin, was used as a control.

Each person enrolled in the study donated ~10 ml EDTA blood for sufficient serum to be isolated and examined for the elements Cu, Se, Fe and Zn.The level of Cu, Fe, Se, and Zn, in the serum was determined by mass spectrometry Inductively Coupled Plasma Mass Spectrometry (Elan DRC-e, PerkinElmer).

Results

Table 1

Association between Se serum concentration and risk of pancreatic cancer

Cancer site

Quartile

Selenium concentration range (µg/l)

No. of cancer / controls

Pancreatic cancer

I

29.87-56.00

22/2

 

II

56.43-68.47

11/13

 

III

68.57-80.49

11/13

 

IV

80.73-149.22

4/20

I vs II: p=0.013. OR = 13.000

I vs III: p=0.013. OR = 13.000

I vs IV, p< 0.0001, OR = 55.000

Table 2

Association between Cu serum concentration and risk of pancreatic cancer

Cancer site

Quartile

Copper concentration range (µg/l)

No. of cancer / controls

Pancreatic cancer

I

785.27-969.05

3/21

 

II

977.76-1119.26

10/14

 

III

1120.26-1363.22

12/12

 

IV

1395.82-2420.82

23/1

II vs I: p = 0.049, OR = 5.000

III vs I: p = 0.0114, OR = 7.000

IV vs I: p< 0.0001, OR = 161.000

Table 3

Association between Fe serum concentration and risk of pancreatic cancer

Cancer site

Quartile

Iron concentration range (µg/l)

No. of cancer / controls

Pancreatic cancer

I

162.62-697.99

18/5

 

II

714.61-947.19

10/13

 

III

948.75-1193.73

7/16

 

IV

1200.90-2987.68

11/12

I vs II: p = 0.0331, OR = 4.680

I vs III p = 0.0027, OR = 8.229

I vs IV: p = 0.0654, OR = 3.927

Table 4

Association between Zn serum concentration and risk of pancreatic cancer

Cancer site

Quartile

Zinc concentration range (µg/l)

No. of cancer / controls

Pancreatic cancer

I

306.12-739.81

15/9

 

II

747.62-847.10

8/16

 

III

848.81-995.08

13/11

 

IV

1002.72-4896.90

12/12

I vs II: p = 0.082

I vs III: p = 0.770

I vs IV: p = 0.561

Table 5

Ratio Cu/Se

Cancer site

Quartile

Cu/Se concentration ratio

No. of cancer / controls

Pancreatic cancer

I

0.55-13.04

3/21

 

II

13.08-16.35

6/18

 

III

16.45-23.91

15/9

 

IV

23.98-55.03

24/0

II vs I: p = 0.4614, OR = 2.333

III vs I: p = 0.0008, OR = 11.667

IV vs I: p < 0.0001, OR = 301

Table 6

Ratio Zn/Se

Cancer site

Quartile

Zn/Se concentration ratio

No. of cancer / controls

Pancreatic cancer

I

0.43-9.87

9/15

 

II

9.97-13.20

6/18

 

III

13.29-15.81

15/9

 

IV

15.82-38.90

18/6

IV vs I: p = 0.018, OR = 5.000

III vs I: p = 0.148, II vs I: p = 0.534

Table 7

Ratio Fe/Se

Cancer site

Quartile

Fe/Se concentration ratio

No. of cancer / controls

Pancreatic cancer

I

0.63-10.56

12/11

 

II

10.67-12.91

8/15

 

III

12.93-18.28

11/12

 

IV

18.29-41.84

15/8

I vs II: p = 0.372,

I vs III: p = 1.000,

I vs IV: p = 0.549

Conclusions

  1. 1.

    There is a very strong correlation between the level of selenium, copper in serum and the risk of pancreatic cancers in the Polish population.

     
  2. 2.

    The Se, Cu level in serum and especially ratio Cu/Se may be a useful diagnostic tool of pancreatic cancer.

     
  3. 3.
    Further investigations are needed to determine if Cu/Se ratio can be used in:
    1. a.

      differential diagnosis of pancreatic tumor (PT),

       
    2. b.

      identification of causative factors of PT,

       
    3. c.

      identification of prognostic factor of PC.

       
     

Copyright information

© Lener et al. 2015

This article is published under license to BioMed Central Ltd. This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. The Creative Commons Public Domain Dedication waiver (http://creativecommons.org/publicdomain/zero/1.0/) applies to the data made available in this article, unless otherwise stated.

Authors and Affiliations

  • Marcin Lener
    • 1
  • Anna Wiechowska-Kozlowska
    • 2
  • Rodney J Scott
    • 3
  • Magdalena Muszynska
    • 4
  • Jozef Kladny
    • 5
  • Piotr Waloszczyk
    • 6
  • Anna Rutkowska
    • 2
  • Grzegorz Sukiennicki
    • 1
  • Tomasz Gromowski
    • 1
  • Katarzyna Jaworska-Bieniek
    • 1
  • Thierry van de Wetering
    • 1
  • Katarzyna Kaczmarek
    • 1
  • Anna Jakubowska
    • 1
  • Jan Lubinski
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Genetics and PathologyPomeranian Medical University in Szczecin, International Hereditary Cancer CenterSzczecinPoland
  2. 2.Division of Health Care Ministry of Internal Affairs and Administration in SzczecinPoland
  3. 3.Discipline of Medical Genetics, School of Biomedical Sciences, Faculty of HealthUniversity of Newcastle and The Hunter Medical Research InstituteNewcastleAustralia
  4. 4.Read – Gene, S.A.GrzepnicaPoland
  5. 5.Department of General and Oncological SurgeryPomeranian Medical UniversitySzczecinPoland
  6. 6.Regional Hospital for Lung DiseasesSzczecin-ZdunowoPoland

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