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Systemic Metabolomic Changes in Blood Samples of Lung Cancer Patients Identified by Gas Chromatography Time-of-Flight Mass Spectrometry

Division of Hematology/Oncology, UC Davis Cancer Center, 4501 X Street, Room 3016, Sacramento, CA 95817, USA
Division of Biostatistics, Department of Public Health Sciences, UC Davis School of Medicine, One Shields Avenue, Med Sci 1-C, Davis, CA 95616, USA
Genome Center, UC Davis, 451 Health Sciences Drive, University of California, Davis, CA 95616, USA
The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, 1515 Holcombe Boulevard, Houston, TX 77030, USA
Division of Pulmonary Medicine, Department of Internal Medicine, UC Davis Medical Center, Sacramento, CA 95817, USA
Biochemistry Department, King Abdulaziz University, Jeddah 21589, Saudi Arabia
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Current affiliation: International Agency for Research on Cancer, 69372 Lyon, France
Academic Editor: Pollen K.F. Yeung
Metabolites 2015, 5(2), 192-210;
Received: 19 December 2014 / Revised: 24 March 2015 / Accepted: 1 April 2015 / Published: 9 April 2015
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Biomarkers in Metabolomics)
PDF [1651 KB, uploaded 9 April 2015]


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. View Full-Text
Keywords: metabolomics; lung cancer; mass spectrometry; blood metabolomics; lung cancer; mass spectrometry; blood

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Miyamoto, S.; Taylor, S.L.; Barupal, D.K.; Taguchi, A.; Wohlgemuth, G.; Wikoff, W.R.; Yoneda, K.Y.; Gandara, D.R.; Hanash, S.M.; Kim, K.; Fiehn, O. Systemic Metabolomic Changes in Blood Samples of Lung Cancer Patients Identified by Gas Chromatography Time-of-Flight Mass Spectrometry. Metabolites 2015, 5, 192-210.

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