A serum nuclear magnetic resonance-based metabolomic signature of advanced metastatic human breast cancer

Cancer Lett. 2014 Feb 1;343(1):33-41. doi: 10.1016/j.canlet.2013.09.011. Epub 2013 Sep 14.


Breast cancer (BC) displays a high heterogeneity from histology to prognosis, metastatic evolution and treatment responses. We report here a (1)H NMR-based metabolic phenotyping study aiming at identifying coordinated metabolic serum changes associated with advanced metastatic breast cancer (MBC) in comparison to the localized early disease (EBC). A model discriminating EBC and MBC patients is obtained (n=85: 46 EBC and 39 MBC), and validated with an independent cohort (n=112: 61 EBC and 51 MBC; 89.8% sensitivity, 79.3% specificity). We identify 9 statistically significant metabolites involved in this discrimination: histidine, acetoacetate, glycerol, pyruvate, glycoproteins (N-acetyl), mannose, glutamate and phenylalanine. This work illustrates the strong potential of NMR metabolic phenotyping for the diagnosis, prognosis, and management of cancer patients.

Keywords: Breast cancer; Metabolomics; Metabonomics; Metastatic; NMR; Serum.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Biomarkers, Tumor / blood*
  • Breast Neoplasms / blood*
  • Breast Neoplasms / pathology*
  • Cohort Studies
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Magnetic Resonance Spectroscopy / methods*
  • Metabolomics / methods*
  • Middle Aged
  • Multivariate Analysis
  • Neoplasm Metastasis
  • Phenotype
  • Prognosis
  • ROC Curve
  • Sensitivity and Specificity


  • Biomarkers, Tumor