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Copper as diagnostic marker of cancers

The study was conducted to determine if serum copper level could be a useful marker for selection for control examinations and if serum copper level is a risk factor in developing cancer.

Copper was quantitatively measured in diluted serum samples by inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry (ICP-MS) using mass spectrometer (Elan DRC-e, PerkinElmer) in standard mode. In our study, there were two independent groups of patients examined. In the first, retrospective model, there were patients diagnosed with prostate cancer (n = 166) and laryngeal cancer (n = 123) matched with healthy controls. This study showed that serum copper level above 1250 µg/l may be a useful marker for laryngeal examination, but is not a useful marker for prostate cancer early detection. In the second, prospective model, there were patents diagnosed with breast cancer (n = 42) matched with unaffected controls. Serum from breast cancer patients was collected 3 - 41 months before cancer diagnosis. This part of study showed that there is a tendency that breast cancer risk is about two times lower when copper serum level is in range between 1035 - 1311 µg/l. Further investigations are needed.

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Correspondence to Magdalena Muszyńska.

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This article is published under license to BioMed Central Ltd. This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. The Creative Commons Public Domain Dedication waiver ( applies to the data made available in this article, unless otherwise stated.

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Muszyńska, M., Marciniak, W., Jaworska-Bieniek, K. et al. Copper as diagnostic marker of cancers. Hered Cancer Clin Pract 13, A7 (2015).

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  • Breast Cancer
  • Prostate Cancer
  • Breast Cancer Patient
  • Breast Cancer Risk
  • Inductively Couple Plasma Mass Spectrometry