Assessment of metal contaminants in non-small cell lung cancer by EDX microanalysis

  • M. Scimeca University of Rome Tor Vergata, Italy.
  • A. Orlandi University of Rome Tor Vergata, Italy.
  • I. Terrenato Regina Elena National Cancer Institute, Italy.
  • S. Bischetti University of Rome Tor Vergata, Italy.
  • E. Bonanno | elena.bonanno@uniroma2.it University of Rome Tor Vergata, Italy.

Abstract

Human cardio-respiratory diseases are strongly correlated to concentrations of atmospheric elements. Bioaccumulation of heavy metals is strictly monitored, because of its possible toxic effects. In this work, we utilized the EDX microanalysis in order to identify the potential heavy metal accumulation in the lung tissue.  To this aim, we enrolled 45 human lung biopsies: 15 non-small cell lung cancers, 15 lung benign lesions and 15 control biopsies. Lung samples were both paraffin embedded for light microscopy study and eponepoxid embedded for transmission electron microscopy. EDX microanalysis was performed on 100 nm thick unstained ultrathin-sections placed on specific copper grids. Our results demonstrated that the EDX technology was particularly efficient in the study of elemental composition of lung tissues, where we found heavy metals, such as Cobalt (Co), Chromium (Cr), Manganese (Mn) and Lead (Pb). Furthermore, in malignant lesions we demonstrated the presence of multiple bio-accumulated elements. In fact, a high rate of lung cancers was associated with the presence of 3 or more bio-accumulated elements compared to benign lesions and control tissue (91.7%, 0%, 8.3%, respectively). The environmental impact on pulmonary carcinogenesis could be better clarified by demonstrating the presence of polluting agents in lung tissues. The application of EDX microanalysis on biological tissuescould shed new light in the study of the possible bioaccumulation of polluting agents in different human organs and systems.

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Author Biographies

M. Scimeca, University of Rome Tor Vergata

Department of Biomedicine and Prevention

A. Orlandi, University of Rome Tor Vergata

Department of Biomedicine and Prevention

I. Terrenato, Regina Elena National Cancer Institute
Biostatistic Unit-Scientific Direction
S. Bischetti, University of Rome Tor Vergata

Department of Biomedicine and Prevention 

 

E. Bonanno, University of Rome Tor Vergata

Department of Biomedicine and Prevention

Published
2014-09-12
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Section
Original Papers
Keywords:
EDX microanalysis, transmission electron microscopy, non-small cell lung cancer, heavy metals, environmental pollution.
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How to Cite
Scimeca, M., Orlandi, A., Terrenato, I., Bischetti, S., & Bonanno, E. (2014). Assessment of metal contaminants in non-small cell lung cancer by EDX microanalysis. European Journal of Histochemistry, 58(3). https://doi.org/10.4081/ejh.2014.2403

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