Use of PIXE to measure serum copper, zinc, selenium, and bromine in patients with hematologic malignancies
The use of PIXE allowed for a simultaneous determination of serum copper (Cu), zinc (Zn), selenium (Se) and bromine (Br), in various groups of patients with hematologic malignancies. In 78 patients with acute nonlymphocytic leukemia, it was observed that (1) serum Se was significantly lower than in healthy controls and correlated inversely with the tumor burden; (2) serum bromine was normal at diagnosis but dropped dramatically after intensive chemotherapy, before recovering progressively over a period of months; and (3) pretreatment serum copper and zinc were significant prognostic factors of the chance to achieve a complete remission. In 50 patients with chronic lymphocytic leukemia, it was observed that (1) serum Cu and Cu/Zn ratio were useful indices of the disease activity, which were independent of a nonspecific acute phase reaction; and (2) Zn deficiency could contribute to immune dysfunction. In 119 patients with myeloproliferative disorders or myelodysplasic syndromes, serum Cu and Zn levels were mostly dependent on nonspecific factors, such as age and inflammation.