Author(s): Jayadeep A, Raveendran Pillai K, Kannan S, Nalinakumari KR, Mathew B,
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Abstract Trace elements have been extensively studied in recent years to assess whether they have any modifying effects in the etiology of cancer. In the present study serum levels of copper, zinc, ceruloplasmin, total iron and total protein were estimated in 92 patients with oral leukoplakia and squamous cell carcinoma and 45 age and sex matched controls. Copper was significantly increased in oral leukoplakia and cancer in both sexes. The level of zinc decreased significantly only in male patients with leukoplakia and cancer. Copper zinc ratio was found significantly elevated in oral leukoplakia and cancer. A marked increase in serum ceruloplasmin was seen in oral leukoplakia and cancer in both sexes. A significant decrease of serum total iron and proteins were observed only in carcinomas. These findings suggest that reduction in the serum total iron and total protein may be due to malnutrition caused, on its turn, by tumour burden. Serum ceruloplasmin level and copper-zinc ratio demonstrated significant differences in the patients of both sexes from those of controls, while, comparing leukoplakia with cancer, a significant difference is only observed in male patients. Thus, the present study shows that these factors have diagnostic value only in differentiating malignancies from normal and a little value as biomarkers of disease progression. However, the exact mechanism responsible for the alteration of these factors in oral lesions is still not clear and a detailed study on large sample size is therefore needed.
This article was published in J Exp Clin Cancer Res
and referenced in Journal of Molecular Biomarkers & Diagnosis