The objective of this study was to evaluate tissue and plasma concentrations of arsenic and cobalt in an attempt to discover the role of these elements in the malignant process. Using neutron activation analysis, arsenic and cobalt levels were determined in plasma and in non-malignant and malignant human tissues in 15 patients with laryngeal carcinoma. Arsenic and cobalt levels were about 60% higher in tumor than in adjacent non-malignant tissue (P< 0.001): arsenic 72.4 ± 18.0 ng/g versus 43.1 ± 9.4 in non-malignant tissues, and cobalt 68.7 ± 7.3 ng/g versus 39.6 ± 7.0 in non-malignant tissues. Mean plasma arsenic and cobalt levels were also significantly higher in patients with laryngeal carcinoma than in healthy control subjects.
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