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Significance of free radical injury in laryngeal and hypopharyngeal cancers

  • M K Manjunath (a1), V Annam (a2) and D R Suresh (a3)


Background and objectives:

Laryngeal and hypopharyngeal cancer is a multifactorial disease caused by various carcinogens such as tobacco, alcohol and viruses. Likewise, oxidative stress is known to cause aberrations in the cell membrane and DNA, leading to cancer. We conducted this prospective study in order to evaluate the level of oxidative stress in laryngeal and hypopharyngeal cancer patients.


Fifty patients with laryngeal and hypopharyngeal cancer and 40 control subjects were selected. Serum malondialdehyde concentrations and ferric reducing antioxidant power were assessed, in order to evaluate oxidative stress. Results were analysed by Student's t-test.


Malondialdehyde levels were significantly higher and ferric reducing antioxidant power lower in the cancer patients, compared with the controls, indicating higher oxidative stress in the former. There was no statistically significant difference in malondialdehyde concentration or ferric reducing antioxidant power, comparing patients with versus without neck secondaries, and patients with early stage versus late stage tumours.


Oxidative stress may have a role to play in the initiation of laryngeal and hypopharyngeal cancers, especially in patients with other risk factors such as tobacco and alcohol use.


Corresponding author

Address for correspondence: Dr M K Manjunath, Assistant Professor, Department of ENT – Head and Neck Surgery, Sree Siddhartha Medical College, BH Road, Agalakote, Tumkur, Karnataka, India572107. E-mail:


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Significance of free radical injury in laryngeal and hypopharyngeal cancers

  • M K Manjunath (a1), V Annam (a2) and D R Suresh (a3)


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