A meta-analysis published in the journal Bioscience Reports presents evidence indicating higher levels of serum copper in patients with cervical cancer compared with control individuals. This is suggestive of serum copper exposure as a potential risk factor for cervical cancer.
Researchers conducted a meta-analysis of 14 case-control studies evaluating the relationship between serum copper levels and cervical cancer identified through the PubMed, WanFang and China National Knowledge Internet databases.
A pooled analysis of studies showed that patients with cervical cancer had significantly higher serum copper levels compared with control individuals (standardised mean difference [SMD], 1.35; 95% CI, 0.10-2.59). In the sub-group analysis by geographic location, the association was pronounced among Asian populations (SMD, 1.39; 95% CI, 0.06-2.71). In the sensitivity analysis, no single study was found to strongly influence the association between serum copper levels and cervical cancer risk.
According to the authors, the carcinogenic action of copper could be possibly linked to formation of reactive oxygen species responsible for damaging the DNA line and initiating tumour angiogenesis. Since the included studies were largely from Asia, the authors call for additional studies to further define associations between geographic location and cervical cancer risk.