Plasma levels of provitamin A and non-provitamin A carotenoids, retinol, and tocopherols in gynecologic cancers

P. R. Palan, G. L. Goldberg, C. D. Runowicz, S. L. Romney

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


There is strong evidence for an etiologic role of dietary nutrition, particularly anti-oxidant micronutrients in the oncogenesis and prevention of certain cancers. In the present study, we measured the plasma levels of selected provitamin A and non-provitamin A carotenoids, retinol and a-tocopherol and gammatocopherol by reversed-phase high-pressure liquid chromatography in patients with histopathologically confirmed gynecologic cancers (n=38) and in normal volunteer women with no known gynecologic pathology (n=53). The mean plasma β-carotene, lycopene, canthaxanthin and a-tocopherol levels were significantly (p <0.012, p <0.004, p <0.007, and p <0.001, respectively, by ANOVA) lower in patients with carcinoma of the cervix, endometrium or ovary compared with the mean plasma levels in controls. However, the mean plasma gamma-tocopherol level was significantly lower (p <0.05) only in ovarian cancer patients and the plasma retinol levels were comparable among all subjects. These findings suggest that selected micronutrients may be acting as antioxidant to quench and protect against free radical-induced carcinogenic gene mutations in human gynecologic carcinomas. Further studies of the role(s) of these antioxidant vitamins at the molecular level are required.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)157-161
Number of pages5
JournalMedecine Biologie Environnement
Issue number2
StatePublished - 1995


  • Antioxidants
  • Carotenoids
  • Gynecologic cancers
  • Nutrients
  • Tocopherols

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology


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