, Volume 141, Issue 1-3, pp 96-109
Date: 22 May 2010

Abnormal Blood Levels of Trace Elements and Metals, DNA Damage, and Breast Cancer in the State of Kuwait

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Abstract

This study aims at investigating the blood level of Cu, Zn, Se, and Cd in breast cancer patients and the association between such level and the frequency of micronucleated lymphocytes. Fifty stage I breast cancer patients were recruited for this study at the time of diagnosis and before receiving any treatment or surgery. The control group consisted of 150 normal females matched to the patients for age (± 5 years). The whole blood level of Cu, Zn, Se, and Cd was determined using spectrophotometry. The frequency of micronucleated lymphocytes in the blood was determined using the cytokinesis-block micronucleus assay. The level of Cu, Zn, and Se was significantly lower (p = 0.0006, <0.0001, and <0.0001, respectively) in breast cancer patients, as compared to controls. The level of Cd was significantly (p < 0.0001) higher in the patients, as compared to controls. The frequency of lymphocytes with one micronucleus was significantly (p < 0.0001) higher in the patients, as compared to controls. In breast cancer patients, the frequency of micronucleated lymphocytes showed different associations with different levels of these trace elements. High Cd, low Zn, low Se, and both high and low Cu levels were significantly associated with micronucleus formation in lymphocytes. A similar association was found in the normal control group only in relation to high Se and Cd levels. Breast cancer patients seem to have abnormal levels of Cu, Zn, Se, and Cd, and such abnormality is associated with micronucleus formation in lymphocytes.