Trace elemental analysis of normal, benign hypertrophic and cancerous tissues of the prostate gland using the particle-induced X-ray emission technique
Trace elemental analysis was carried out in the tissue samples of normal, benign hypertrophic and carcinoma prostate using the particle-induced X-ray emission technique. A proton beam of 3 MeV energy was used to excite the samples. The elements Cl, K, Ca, Ti, Cr, Mn, Fe, Ni, Cu, Zn, Se, and Br were identified and their concentrations were estimated. It is observed that in benign tissues the concentrations of Cl, K, Zn, and Se are lower (P<0.05) and those of Cr, Fe, Ni, and Cu are higher (P<0.05 ) than in normal tissues. The concentrations of K, Ca, Zn, Se, and Br are lower (P<0.01) and those of Ti, Cr, Mn, Fe, Ni, and Cu are significantly higher (P<0.0005) in cancerous tissues than in normal tissues. Free radicals generated by elevated levels of Cr, Fe, Ni, and Cu possibly initiate and promote prostate cancer by oxidative DNA damage. The excess Cu levels in cancerous tissues support the fact that Cu promotes cancer through angiogenesis. The higher levels of Fe observed in cancerous tissues might be a consequence of tumor growth through angiogenesis. Significantly higher levels of Ni and Cr observed in carcinoma tissues support the well-established role of Ni and Cr as carcinogens. It is likely that the observed low levels of Zn and Se in cancerous tissues lead to the development of prostate cancer owing to a decrease in antioxidative defense capacity and impaired immune function of cells and also suggest that the inability to retain high levels of Zn and Se may possibly be an important factor in the development and progression of malignant prostate cells. In order to substantiate the observed elevated or deficient levels of trace elements in initiating, promoting, and inhibiting prostate cancer, several cellular and molecular studies are required.