Cancer Chemotherapy and Pharmacology

, Volume 75, Issue 4, pp 813–820 | Cite as

Serum metallothionein in patients with testicular cancer

  • Blanka TaribaEmail author
  • Tanja Živković
  • Nesrete Krasnići
  • Vlatka Filipović Marijić
  • Marijana Erk
  • Marija Gamulin
  • Mislav Grgić
  • Alica Pizent
Original Article



Metallothioneins (MTs) have been disclosed as a useful diagnostic factor for tumour progression and drug resistance in a variety of malignancies. Increased levels of MT in blood serum have been found in patients with several types of cancer, but there is no available information on serum MT levels in patients with testicular germ cell tumour (TGCT). The aim of the study was to determine MT levels in serum of patients with TGCT and to evaluate the portion of platinum (Pt) that binds to MT after cisplatin administration since MTs could be involved in drug resistance.


Concentration of total MT was determined in serum of 25 men with newly diagnosed TGCT by differential pulse voltammetry. The fractionation of serum was carried out by size exclusion high-performance liquid chromatography (SE-HPLC), while concentration of Pt in collected fractions was determined by inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry.


Concentration of serum MT was significantly higher in TGCT patients than in healthy volunteers. The results of SE-HPLC analysis showed that only a small amount of Pt was bound to proteins in the area of MT elution.


Significant increase in MT levels in individuals with TGCT indicates certain health problem and, in combination with other commonly used diagnostic tools, could improve early diagnosis.


Testicular cancer Metallothionein Platinum Serum marker 



This research was supported by the Croatian Ministry of Science, Education and Sports (Grant Number 022-0222411-2408).

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Ethical standard

All procedures performed in this study involving human participants were in accordance with the ethical standards of institutional ethics committee and with the 1964 Helsinki Declaration and its later amendments or comparable ethical standards.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  • Blanka Tariba
    • 1
    Email author
  • Tanja Živković
    • 1
  • Nesrete Krasnići
    • 2
  • Vlatka Filipović Marijić
    • 2
  • Marijana Erk
    • 2
  • Marija Gamulin
    • 3
  • Mislav Grgić
    • 3
  • Alica Pizent
    • 1
  1. 1.Analytical Toxicology and Mineral Metabolism UnitInstitute for Medical Research and Occupational HealthZagrebCroatia
  2. 2.Division for Marine and Environmental Research, Laboratory for Biological Effects of MetalsRuđer Bošković InstituteZagrebCroatia
  3. 3.Department of OncologyClinical Hospital Centre ZagrebZagrebCroatia

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