Document Type: Research Articles
Department of Chemical Pathology, Medical Research Institute, Alexandria University, Alexandria, Egypt.
Department of Experimental and Clinical Surgery, Medical Research Institute, Alexandria University, Alexandria, Egypt.
Department of Pharmacology and Therapeutics, Pharos University in Alexandria, Alexandria, Egypt.
Department of Medical Biochemistry, Medical Research Institute, Alexandria University, Alexandria, Egypt.
Department of Cancer Management and Research, Medical Research Institute, Alexandria University, Alexandria, Egypt.
Background: The balance of the oxidative state in the body is fundamental for the maintenance of homeostasis. It has been implicated in the onset and progression of several diseases including breast cancer. The way in which the Reactive Oxygen Species (ROS) / antioxidants balance leads to or responds to disease is still controversial. In this study, TAC is used as a reference for the total antioxidant power of the body and Coenzyme Q10 (CoQ10) for its vital importance in cellular antioxidant action and being the only lipid soluble antioxidant synthesized endogenously. Copper and zinc were measured as trace elements reflecting the antioxidant micronutrient profile of the body. Methods: After approval of the ethical committee, 60 recently diagnosed non-intervened breast cancer patients were recruited from the Medical Research Institute hospital, Alexandria University along with 20 apparently healthy volunteers as control group. Full patient history was taken including breastfeeding history, parity, hormone replacement therapy use, body mass index, pathological examination, metastatic work up results, past medical history and drug use. CA 15-3 and laboratory investigations evaluating blood glucose, kidney and liver functions were performed. Q10 levels were measured by HPLC using a kit from Recipe®. TAC was assayed spectrophotometrically (Biodiagnostics®). Copper and Zinc levels were determined by inductively coupled plasma-optical emission spectrometry. Results: There was a statistically significant increase in the CoQ10, TAC and copper levels in the breast cancer group when compared to the control group. Zinc showed no statistically significant difference between the studied groups. Conclusion: Inspite of the fact that a high antioxidant level is usually considered as a favourable state, TAC, CoQ10 and copper levels showed significantly higher levels in the breast cancer group when compared to the control group. It is worth mentioning that the cancer group were all recently diagnosed, non-intervened and showed no signs of metastasis. It is still unclear whether the increased antioxidant levels offer a selective growth advantage to tumor cells over their surrounding normal cells or serve as a protective measure by the body in an attempt to correct the assault triggered by the ROS.