, Volume 10, Issue 3, pp 215-222

Serum selenium concentrations in ovarian cancer patients using a simplified fluorimetric procedure

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The serum selenium (Se) concentrations were determined to be 105.6±15.6 μg/L ( \(\bar X \pm SD\) ) and 116.7±18.4 μg/L ( \(\bar X \pm SD\) ) for the ovarian cancer patients and the control subjects in Singapore, respectively (p<0.0065). When we separated the patients into three age groups, namely <30, 30–50, and >50 yr, the ovarian cancer patients showed significantly lower mean serum Se levels than the control subjects for the 30–50-yr age group only. However, when the analysis of variance was used to evaluate the data, the values indicated that the age of the subject did not significantly affect the serum Se level. Our findings suggest that there is an inverse relationship between serum Se concentration and the incidence of human ovarian cancer.

A modified simple fluorimetric method for the determination of serum Se concentration is described. The procedure, with a sensitivity limit of 5 μg/L and percentage recoveries of 96.2–100.7%, requires only 0.2 mL of serum sample.