, Volume 22, Issue 6, pp 863–875 | Cite as

Elemental fingerprinting of tumorous and adjacent non-tumorous tissues from patients with colorectal cancer using ICP-MS, ICP-OES and chemometric analysis

  • Isela Lavilla
  • Marta Costas
  • Pilar San Miguel
  • Jorge Millos
  • Carlos Bendicho


Tumorous and adjacent non-tumorous paired biopsies from 38 patients with colorectal cancer were analyzed by inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry and inductively coupled plasma optical emission spectrometry after low-volume microwave digestion. 18 elements were investigated: Ag, Al, Ca, Cd, Co, Cr, Cu, Fe, K, Mg, Mn, Mo, Ni, P, Pb, S, Se and Zn. Different chemometric tools were used for data evaluation: Wilcoxon signed rank test, Hieratical clustering analysis, principal component analysis (PCA) and linear discriminant analysis (LDA). With the exception of Al, tumours were observed to have significantly more elevated concentrations of essential elements as compared to non-tumours. On the contrary, elements considered potentially carcinogenic such as Cr, Ni, Mo or Co do not display significant differences. When PCA was applied, different components were obtained for tumorous and non-tumorous tissues. When LDA was applied for the elements studied (including essential and non-essential elements) about 90% of cases were correctly classified.


Colorectal cancer Trace and minor elements ICP-MS ICP-OES Chemometric analysis 



Financial support from the Spanish Education and Science Ministry (project CTQ2006-04111/BQU) is gratefully acknowledged.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC. 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  • Isela Lavilla
    • 1
  • Marta Costas
    • 1
  • Pilar San Miguel
    • 2
  • Jorge Millos
    • 1
  • Carlos Bendicho
    • 1
  1. 1.Departamento de Química Analítica y Alimentaria, Área de Química Analítica, Facultad de QuímicaUniversidad de VigoVigoSpain
  2. 2.Centro Hospitalario Povisa, Servicio de Anatomía PatológicaVigoSpain

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