Author(s): Suzanne Miyamoto, Sandra L Taylor, Dinesh K Barupal, Ayumu Taguchi, Gert Wohlgemuth, William R Wikoff, Ken Y Yoneda, David R Gandara, Samir M Hanash, Kyoungmi Kim, Oliver Fiehn
Lung cancer is a leading cause of cancer deaths worldwide. Metabolic alterations in tumor cells coupled with systemic indicators of the host response to tumor development have the potential to yield blood profiles with clinical utility for diagnosis and monitoring of treatment. We report results from two separate studies using gas chromatography time-of-flight mass spectrometry (GC-TOF MS) to profile metabolites in human blood samples that significantly differ from non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) adenocarcinoma and other lung cancer cases. Metabolomic analysis of blood samples from the two studies yielded a total of 437 metabolites, of which 148 were identified as known compounds and 289 identified as unknown compounds. Differential analysis identified 15 known metabolites in one study and 18 in a second study that were statistically different (p-values <0.05). Levels of maltose, palmitic acid, glycerol, ethanolamine, glutamic acid, and lactic acid were increased in cancer samples while amino acids tryptophan, lysine and histidine decreased. Many of the metabolites were found to be significantly different in both studies, suggesting that metabolomics appears to be robust enough to find systemic changes from lung cancer, thus showing the potential of this type of analysis for lung cancer detection.