Metabolomics: moving to the clinic

J Neuroimmune Pharmacol. 2010 Mar;5(1):4-17. doi: 10.1007/s11481-009-9156-4. Epub 2009 Apr 28.


Assessment of a biological system by means of global and non-targeted metabolite profiling--metabolomics or metabonomics--provides the investigator with molecular information that is close to the phenotype in question in the sense that metabolites are an ultimate product of gene, mRNA, and protein activity. Over the last few years, there has been a rapidly growing number of metabolomics applications aimed at finding biomarkers which could assist diagnosis, provide therapy guidance, and evaluate response to therapy for particular diseases. Also, within the fields of drug discovery, drug toxicology, and personalized pharmacology, metabolomics is emerging as a powerful tool. This review seeks to update the reader on analytical strategies, biomarker findings, and implications of metabolomics for the clinic. Particular attention is paid to recent biomarkers found related to neurological, cardiovascular, and cancer diseases. Moreover, the impact of metabolomics in the drug discovery and development process is examined.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Biomarkers / metabolism*
  • Biomarkers, Pharmacological / metabolism
  • Cardiovascular Diseases / diagnosis
  • Cardiovascular Diseases / metabolism
  • Drug Delivery Systems / methods
  • Drug Discovery / methods
  • Humans
  • Metabolomics / methods*
  • Neoplasms / diagnosis
  • Neoplasms / metabolism
  • Nervous System Diseases / diagnosis
  • Nervous System Diseases / metabolism
  • Precision Medicine / methods*


  • Biomarkers
  • Biomarkers, Pharmacological