The goal of this study was to investigate the use of lactate and alanine as metabolic biomarkers of prostate cancer using (1)H high-resolution magic angle spinning (HR-MAS) spectroscopy of snap-frozen transrectal ultrasound (TRUS)-guided prostate biopsy tissues. A long-echo-time rotor-synchronized Carr-Purcell-Meiboom-Gill (CPMG) sequence including an electronic reference to access in vivo concentrations (ERETIC) standard was used to determine the concentrations of lactate and alanine in 82 benign and 16 malignant biopsies (mean 26.5% +/- 17.2% of core). Low concentrations of lactate (0.61 +/- 0.28 mmol/kg) and alanine (0.14 +/- 0.06 mmol/kg) were observed in benign prostate biopsies, and there was no significant difference between benign predominantly glandular (N = 54) and stromal (N = 28) biopsies between patients with (N = 38) and without (N = 44) a positive clinical biopsy. In biopsies containing prostate cancer there was a highly significant (P < 0.0001) increase in lactate (1.59 +/- 0.61 mmol/kg) and alanine (0.26 +/- 0.07 mmol/kg), and minimal overlap with lactate concentrations in benign biopsies. This study demonstrates for the first time very low concentrations of lactate and alanine in benign prostate biopsy tissues. The significant increase in the concentration of both lactate and alanine in biopsy tissue containing as little as 5% cancer could be exploited in hyperpolarized (13)C spectroscopic imaging (SI) studies of prostate cancer patients.