Correlation of Some Trace Elements Serum Levels with Prostate Cancer Progression in Saudi Patients

Saleh A. K. Saleh1, 3, *, Heba M. Adly1, Altaf A.Abdulkhaliq1, Anmar M. Nassir2
1 Biochemistry Department, Faculty of Medicine, Umm Al-Qura University, Makkah, KSA
2 Department of Surgery, Faculty of Medicine, Umm Al-Qura University, Makkah, KSA
3 Oncology Diagnostic Unit, Faculty of Medicine, Ain Shams University, Cairo, Egypt

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© 2019 Saleh et al.

open-access license: This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International Public License (CC-BY 4.0), a copy of which is available at: This license permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.

* Address correspondence to this author at the Biochemistry Department, Faculty of Medicine, Umm Al-Qura University, P.O. Box: 715 Makkah 21955, Saudi Arabia; Tel: +966555569260; Email:



Trace elements, such as zinc, arsenic, cadmium and nickel are found naturally in the environment, and human exposure comes from a variety of sources, including air, drinking water, and food. Yet, there are a few studies of the association between trace element levels and prostate cancer in the country.


This study aimed to investigate the changes in trace elements in prostate cancer patients with different levels of their prostate-specific antigen (PSA) values.


The study included 58 patients with prostate cancer aged 70 years and older, divided into 3 different levels of PSA. Full history and clinical data were recorded for all subjects. Blood samples from all subjects and levels of Se, Zn, Cd and Cu were analyzed by inductively-coupled plasma mass spectrometry. The odds ratio of trace element levels was adjusted in accordance with socioeconomic data, family history and supplements intake.


Mean Se and Zn levels in serum were significantly low (p<0.05) in all prostate cancer patients. The levels of serum Se decreased by 56%, 67% and 70%, while the levels of serum Zn decreased by 35%, 41% and 47%, in subjects with PSA of 5-10 ng/ml, 11-20 ng/ml and > 20 ng/ml, respectively. Cu levels were increased significantly in prostate cancer patients, while Cd levels had no significant difference between control and prostate cancer groups.


This study emphasizes the importance of minerals intake during prostate cancer management and follow-up period. This highlights the importance of trace elements Zn and Se intake as food supplements for prostate cancer patients.

Keywords: Trace elements, Prostate cancer, Cadmium, Selenium, Zinc, Cancer risk.