Introduction: Many epidemiological and experimental studies report a strong role of chemical carcinogens in the etiology of bladder cancer. However, involvement of trace elements in the tumorigenesis of transitional cell carcinoma of the bladder has been poorly investigated. The aim of this study was to examine the relationship between zinc, copper and bladder cancer. Materials and Methods: Zinc and copper concentration and Cu/Zn ratio in two 36-sample series of bladder cancer tissue and sera from patients with this neoplasm were matched with those of the control group. The amount of trace elements in every tissue sample was determined using atomic absorption spectrometry. This was correlated with tumor stage. Results: While the copper concentrations reached statistically higher values in the bladder cancer tissue, the zinc levels in the sera and bladder tissue of the patients with this carcinoma were substantially lower as compared to those of the control group. The serum Cu/Zn ratio was significantly higher in the bladder cancer group and this increase was greater in the patients with muscle-invasive neoplasm. Conclusions: The results obtained suggest a relationship between trace elements and the bladder cancer.

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