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Disease Markers
Volume 15 (1999), Issue 4, Pages 283-291

Lipid Peroxidation and Antioxidant Status in Human Cervical Carcinoma

Maha I. Ahmed,1 Salah T. Fayed,2 Hanan Hossein,1 and Fathy M. Tash1

1Department of Biochemistry, Ain Shams Faculty of Medicine, Abassia, Cairo, Egypt
2Department of Obstetric and Gynaecology, Ain Shams Faculty of Medicine, Ain Shams University Hospitals, Abbassia, Cairo, Egypt

Received 9 December 1999; Accepted 9 December 1999

Copyright © 1999 Hindawi Publishing Corporation. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Reactive oxygen species (ROS), represented by superoxide, hydrogen peroxide and hydroxyl radicals, have been implicated in many diseases including cancer. ROS have been known to play an important role in the initiation and promotion of multistep carcinogenesis. The cellular antioxidants play a crucial role in protection against neoplastic disease. However, very little is known about the antioxidant defense in cervical carcinoma. This is addressed in the present study. Lipid peroxides, glutathione content and the activities of antioxidant enzymes, together with vitamin C and E content, were estimated in patients who had carcinoma of the cervix, and the values were compared with those of normal women. The results showed a remarkable reduction in the content of glutathione, vitamin E and C. Activities of glutathione peroxidase and superoxide dismutase were also reduced in cervical cancer compared to normal controls (P < 0.001). This reduction was more marked in late stages (III, IV) than in early stages (I, II) (P < 0.001). Glutathione was reduced more in poorly differentiated tumors (grade III) than in well and moderately differentiated ones (grade I, II) (P < 0.05). Levels of lipid peroxides were found to be significantly higher in malignant than in normal tissue samples and their levels were correlated with advanced clinical stage (P < 0.001). Our results suggest impaired antioxidant status in carcinoma of the cervix. This impairment is related to tumor progression.