Background: Knowing how cancer develops, progresses, and spreads (metastasis) is required to mobilize the development of new ways to prevent, detect, diagnose and treat cancer. Essential elements present functions in tumor progression, promoting proliferation, migration, among other protumoral cellular processes. Understanding how those elements are related to the processes of tumor progression is of great relevance for research. The study of the elemental profile in distant tissues, which can be modulated by tumor cells to promote metastasis, has not been sufficiently investigated. Therefore, the main objective of this study is to evaluate the distribution of medium to heavy elements during tumor progression, focusing on the tumor tissue and distant tissues that could be affected.
Results: With this work, it was possible to observe significant changes in the concentrations’ distribution of P, S, K, Ca, Mn, Fe and Cu in distant tissues caused by the presence of tumor cells. It was also possible to detect a greater similarity between tumor tissue (which has the lung as tissue of origin) and a tissue of non-origin, such as the liver, which is an unprecedented result. Moreover, changes in the distributions of concentrations were detected and studied over time for the different tissues analyzed, such as primary tumor, liver and lung, in Control and Tumor groups. Finally, the importance of elements for biological processes of normal cells, as well as tumor cells during tumor progression was also discussed.
Conclusions: This work presents as contributions the study of the elemental profile in tumor and distant tissues. Furthermore, this work evaluates several elements of known biological importance (P, S, K, Ca, Mn, Fe, Cu, and Zn) allowing the study of different biological processes involved in cancer.