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The Content of Silver, Cobalt, Chromium, Iron, Mercury, Rubidium, Antimony, Selenium, and Zinc in Malignant Giant Cell Tumor of Bone

Background and Purpose: The changes of trace element contents and trace element relationships in malignant giant cell tumor of bone (GCTB) in a comparison with normal bone tissue were investigated using a non-destructive neutron activation analysis with high resolution spectrometry of long-lived radionuclides.

Materials and Methods: The silver (Ag), cobalt (Co), chromium (Cr), iron (Fe), mercury (Hg), rubidium (Rb), antimony (Sb), selenium (Se), and zinc (Zn) content and Co/Ag, Cr/Ag, Fe/Ag, Hg/Ag, Sb/Ag, Se/Ag, Co/Rb, Cr/Rb, Fe/Rb, Hg/Rb, Sb/ Rb, Se/Rb, Co/Zn, Cr/Zn, Fe/Zn, Hg/Zn, Sb/Zn, and Se/Zn ratios were estimated in normal bone samples from 27 patients with intact bone (12 females and 15 males, aged from 16 to 49 years) and in tumor samples, obtained from open biopsies or after operation of 8 patients with malignant GCTB (3 females and 5 males, 14 to 56 years old). The reliability of difference in the results between intact bone and malignant GCTB was evaluated by Student’s t-test.

Results: It was found that in malignant GCTB tissue the mass fractions of Co, Fe, Sb, and Se are significantly higher and the mass fraction of Rb is lower than in normal bone tissues. Moreover, it was shown that significantly higher Fe/Ag, Se/ Ag, Se/Rb, Co/Zn, Fe/Zn, Hg/Zn, Sb/Zn, Se/Zn mass fraction ratios are typical of the malignant GCTB tissue compared to intact bone. In malignant GCTB tissue many correlations between trace elements found in the control group was no longer evident.

Conclusions: Finally, it was concluded that in malignant transformed bone tissues a trace element metabolism is significantly disturbed. The studies on the role of trace elements in the etiology of malignant GCTB and the usefulness of trace elements as bone tumor markers have to be continued.


Vladimir Zaichick and Sofia Zaichick

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