Systemic Essential Metal and Metalloid Levels in Patients with Benign Breast Disease and Breast Cancer

Anatoly V. Skalny, Marina I. Sekacheva, Michael Aschner, Yulia N. Lobanova, Alexey A. Tinkov

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


The objective of the present study is evaluation of serum and hair levels of essential metals and metalloids in women with benign breast disease and breast cancer in order to define similar and distinct patterns that may mediate the link between these pathologies. A total of 310 adult women aged 20–80 years old were enrolled in the present study. Of those, 103 patients had benign (fibrocystic) breast disease, 107 patients had breast cancer (stage II), and 100 women were healthy and with absence of breast pathology. Trace metal and metalloid levels in hair and serum were evaluated by inductively coupled argon plasma mass-spectrometry (ICP-MS). The data demonstrate that breast cancer patients were characterized by significantly higher hair Cr and V levels, as well as reduced Cu and Mn content as compared to both benign breast disease patients and controls. In contrast, serum Cu levels in women with breast cancer exceeded those in the controls and benign breast disease cases. Patients with both benign and malignant breast tumors were characterized by lower serum Mn levels as compared to the control values. Serum Cu/Zn and especially Cu/Mn were found to be significantly increased in cancer patients. Significantly reduced hair and serum Se levels were noted only in women with fibrocystic disease. Based on the analysis of two biosamples, it is proposed that malignant breast tumor development is associated with the reduction of systemic Mn and Zn levels, and a concomitant elevation of Cu concentrations.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)5003-5012
Number of pages10
JournalBiological Trace Element Research
Issue number12
StatePublished - Dec 2022


  • Breast tumors
  • Carcinogenesis
  • Copper
  • Fibrocystic disease
  • Manganese

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism
  • Biochemistry
  • Clinical Biochemistry
  • Inorganic Chemistry
  • Biochemistry, medical


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