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Historical Biobanks in Breast Cancer Metabolomics— Challenges and Opportunities

Department of Circulation and Medical Imaging, Norwegian University of Science and Technology, 7491 Trondheim, Norway
Department of Cancer Genetics, Institute for Cancer Research, Oslo University Hospital, 0310 Oslo, Norway
Department of Oncology, Østfold Hospital Trust, 1714 Kalnes, Norway
Department of Research and Innovation, Vestre Viken Hospital Trust, 3004 Drammen, Norway
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Metabolites 2019, 9(11), 278;
Received: 30 September 2019 / Revised: 5 November 2019 / Accepted: 11 November 2019 / Published: 13 November 2019
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Metabolomics in the Study of Disease)
Background: Metabolomic characterization of tumours can potentially improve prediction of cancer prognosis and treatment response. Here, we describe efforts to validate previous metabolomic findings using a historical cohort of breast cancer patients and discuss challenges with using older biobanks collected with non-standardized sampling procedures. Methods: In total, 100 primary breast cancer samples were analysed by high-resolution magic angle spinning magnetic resonance spectroscopy (HR MAS MRS) and subsequently examined by histology. Metabolomic profiles were related to the presence of cancer tissue, hormone receptor status, T-stage, N-stage, and survival. RNA integrity number (RIN) and metabolomic profiles were compared with an ongoing breast cancer biobank. Results: The 100 samples had a median RIN of 4.3, while the ongoing biobank had a significantly higher median RIN of 6.3 (p = 5.86 × 10−7). A low RIN was associated with changes in choline-containing metabolites and creatine, and the samples in the older biobank showed metabolic differences previously associated with tissue degradation. The association between metabolomic profile and oestrogen receptor status was in accordance with previous findings, however, with a lower classification accuracy. Conclusions: Our findings highlight the importance of standardized biobanking procedures in breast cancer metabolomics studies. View Full-Text
Keywords: metabolomics; breast cancer; tissue; biobank; NMR metabolomics; breast cancer; tissue; biobank; NMR
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Madssen, T.S.; Cao, M.D.; Pladsen, A.V.; Ottestad, L.; Sahlberg, K.K.; Bathen, T.F.; Giskeødegård, G.F. Historical Biobanks in Breast Cancer Metabolomics— Challenges and Opportunities. Metabolites 2019, 9, 278.

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