Author(s): Liesenfeld DB, Habermann N, Owen RW, Scalbert A, Ulrich CM
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Abstract Metabolomics, the systematic investigation of all metabolites present within a biologic system, is used in biomarker development for many human diseases, including cancer. In this review, we investigate the current role of mass spectrometry-based metabolomics in cancer research. A literature review was carried out within the databases PubMed, Embase, and Web of Knowledge. We included 106 studies reporting on 21 different types of cancer in 7 different sample types. Metabolomics in cancer research is most often used for case-control comparisons. Secondary applications include translational areas, such as patient prognosis, therapy control and tumor classification, or grading. Metabolomics is at a developmental stage with respect to epidemiology, with the majority of studies including less than 100 patients. Standardization is required especially concerning sample preparation and data analysis. In the second part of this review, we reconstructed a metabolic network of patients with cancer by quantitatively extracting all reports of altered metabolites: Alterations in energy metabolism, membrane, and fatty acid synthesis emerged, with tryptophan levels changed most frequently in various cancers. Metabolomics has the potential to evolve into a standard tool for future applications in epidemiology and translational cancer research, but further, large-scale studies including prospective validation are needed. ©2013 AACR.
This article was published in Cancer Epidemiol Biomarkers Prev
and referenced in Journal of Chromatography & Separation Techniques