Data presented in the present paper indicate that human liver catalase depression is related to weight loss. A statistical study was first made to determine the catalase activity in correlation of the iodotitrimetric and spectrophotometric methods for biopsy and autopsy samples from cancer and cancer-free patients. Cancer patients had a 22 per cent lower liver catalase activity than cancer-free patients. A two-by-two factorial analysis of variance comparing presence or absence of cancer and weight loss revealed that weight loss accounted for the catalase depression and that, when correction was made for the weight loss effect, no additional cancer effect was seen. Distribution of catalase in subcellular fractions was also studied and failed to show any significant cancer effect but did demonstrate the relationship between weight loss and catalase depression in the soluble fraction. No effect of sex was observed, which is consistent with Adams' observations in laboratory animals that, when the male of a species does not show an increased liver catalase as compared with female, no significant depression of liver catalase is observed (2).


This work was supported by the J. B. Phillips Memorial Grant for Cancer Research from the American Cancer Society. Appreciation is expressed to Prof. E. F. Mason for proofreading and checking of statistical calculations.

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