The effect of trace elements in prostate cancer

  • İlker Çelen
  • Feriye Şenol
  • Talha Müezzinoğlu

Bull Urooncol 2011;10(2):27-32

Prostate cancer is the sixth prevailing cancer type seen all over the world. It is also the third most common cancer type among men. The aim of this study is to investigate the effects of exposure to trace elements in prostate cancer etiology and to evaluate the latest data in literature about the clinical consequences of the deposition of trace elements in prostate tissues. There is a variety of factors in prostate cancer etiology including age, ethnogenesis, family history, androgens and hormonal factors, food and environmental exposures. Nowadays it is believed that trace elements take part in the development of prostate cancer as a result of environmental pollution and exposure to carcinogenic materials. Trace elements participate in biological systems as components of enzymes or as catalysts carrying out some chemical reactions in living cells so it is known that excessive or inadequate intakes of many trace elements lead to a variety of diseases including cancer. The methods to measure the extent of exposure to trace elements include vocational history, measurements in existing pollution and air and personal survey signs. However it is difficult to compare these results with each other as result of the measurement differences in these methods.

The capability of the methods used to determine the trace elements in biological and environmental systems depends on the type of the specimen (blood, urine, hair, nail) and the preparation of the specimen for the analysis. Cumulative exposure is very important in cancer etiology. Measurements in serum and plasma indicate short term exposure whereas measurements in toenails and red blood cells indicate long term exposure. Apart from that automatic analysis methods have been developed and commercial systems providing fast and numerous data with very little contribution of the user have been produced to meet the increasing needs. There is a variety of recent studies in literature on the determination of trace elements in tissues. However it is obvious that we need studies evaluating the exposures to trace elements together with their depositions in human tissues.

Keywords: prostate cancer, trace elements, determination