The Comparison of the Plasma Levels of the Lead Element in Patients with Gastrointestinal Cancers and Healthy Individuals

Document Type : Research Articles


1 Gastrointestinal and Liver Diseases Research Center (GILDRC), Firoozgar Hospital, Iran University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran.

2 Department of Internal Medicine, Arak University of Medical Sciences, Arak, Iran.

3 3Noncommunicable Diseases Research Center, Neyshabur University of Medical Sciences, Neyshabur, Iran.

4 Department of Analytic Chemistry, Faculty of Basic Sciences, Tehran Islamic Azad University, North Branch, Tehran, Iran.

5 Department of Basic Medical Science, Neyshabur University of Medical Sciences, Neyshabur, Iran.


Back ground and Aim: Heavy metals are considered as risk factors in the development of some types of cancers. In this context, the lead (Pb) along with its biological impacts on the human body has raised significant concerns in public health. The aim of this study was to compare the plasma levels of the lead element in patients with gastrointestinal (GI) cancer and healthy subjects to examine whether this element has a role in the susceptibility of cancer. Methods: In a case-control study conducted between March 2016 to February 2017, the plasma levels of the lead were assessed. One-hundred patients with upper and lower GI cancers, as well as one-hundered healthy subjects who were age- and sex-matched participated in our study. A classic flame atomic absorption spectroscopy (FAAS) method was employed for the determination of the lead element in plasma levels of all subjects. Results: The mean age of patients was 53.8±10.6 years old. The patient group consisted of 51 male and 49 female patients. The results showed that the concentrations of Pb were lower than the defined toxic levels. The comparison of the mean levels of Pb between the case and control groups revealed that there was no statistically significant difference even when the gender, age, and history of smoking were included in the statistical analysis. Our findings showed that the concentration of Pb is significantly associated with the type of cancer (p<0.003) and the location of the tumor (whether upper or lower tract was affected) (p<0.003). Conclusion: Lead may contributes to the pathology and progression of GI cancers but we can not conclude that it involved in the causation or susceptibility of healthy individuals to develop GI cancer.


Main Subjects

Volume 20, Issue 9
September 2019
Pages 2639-2644
  • Receive Date: 31 October 2018
  • Revise Date: 17 March 2019
  • Accept Date: 29 August 2019
  • First Publish Date: 01 September 2019