The Durk Pearson & Sandy Shaw®
Life Extension NewsTM
Volume 13 No. 3 • June 2010

Prostate Cancer, Breast Cancer,
Alzheimer’s Disease
Carbonyl Compounds Increased in Brain in
Preclinical Alzheimer’s Disease
Carbonyl Compound Useful as a Predictive Biomarker
of Prostate Carcinoma Relapse After Surgery
Early Increase of AGEs (Marker of the Carbonyl
Stress) in Breast Cancer

Two new papers1-2 underline the participation of carbonyl compounds (products of lipid peroxidation) in two serious medical conditions, Alzheimer’s disease and prostate cancer.

Researchers studying possible predictive markers for tumor recurrence in prostate cancer have found that “relapse might be predicted with 90% accuracy if tumour-positive surgical margins, stage of disease and the intensity of acrolein presence in tumour stroma were taken together.”1 As the authors explain, acrolein is one of the major toxic by-products of smoke and one of the main reasons for death following smoke inhalation. The authors note that acrolein may be of particular importance for the prostate because this aldehyde is a toxic oxidation product of the polyamines spermine and spermidine, found abundantly in the prostate; these polyamines are involved in the regulation of cellular proliferation and differentiation and can even induce cell death.

In another paper,2 increased levels of 4-hydroxynonenal and acrolein have been found in the brains of preclinical Alzheimer’s disease (AD), individuals who have normal neuropsychological test scores in the absence of symptoms of AD but abundant AD pathology at autopsy. Increased levels of these highly reactive carbonyl compounds have also been found in areas of the brain vulnerable to AD in late-stage AD as well as in mild cognitive impairment.2

The authors conclude that “[o]verall, our data suggest that lipid peroxidation occurs early in the progression of AD, further supporting the hypothesis that oxidative stress is an early event in the pathogenesis of AD.”

In an earlier paper,3 “breast cancer patients had an early increase of AGEs (marker of the carbonyl stress) followed by further increase of AGEs and elevation of AOPP (marker of oxidative stress) in patients with progressive disease.”


  1. Custovic et al. Lipid peroxidation product acrolein as a predictive biomarker of prostate carcinoma relapse after radical surgery. Free Radic Res 44(5):497-504 (2010).
  2. Bradley et al. Increased levels of 4-hydroxynonenal and acrolein in the brain in preclinical Alzheimer disease. Free Radic Biol Med 48(12):1570-6 (2010).
  3. Tesarova et al. Carbonyl and oxidative stress in patients with breast cancer — is there a relation to the stage of the disease? Neoplasma 54(3):219-24 (2007).

FREE Subscription

  • You're just getting started! We have published thousands of scientific health articles. Stay updated and maintain your health.

    It's free to your e-mail inbox and you can unsubscribe at any time.
    Loading Indicator