Few prospective studies, and none in Asians, have systematically evaluated the relationship between blood metabolites and colorectal cancer risk. We conducted a nested case-control study to search for risk-associated metabolite biomarkers for colorectal cancer in an Asian population using blood samples collected prior to cancer diagnosis. Conditional logistic regression was performed to assess associations of metabolites with cancer risk. In this study, we included 250 incident cases with colorectal cancer and individually matched controls nested within two prospective Shanghai cohorts. We found 35 metabolites associated with risk of colorectal cancer after adjusting for multiple comparisons. Among them, 12 metabolites were glycerophospholipids including nine associated with reduced risk of colorectal cancer and three with increased risk [odds ratios per standard deviation increase of transformed metabolites: 0.31-1.98; p values: 0.002-1.25 × 10-10 ]. The other 23 metabolites associated with colorectal cancer risk included nine lipids other than glycerophospholipid, seven aromatic compounds, five organic acids and four other organic compounds. After mutual adjustment, nine metabolites remained statistically significant for colorectal cancer. Together, these independently associated metabolites can separate cancer cases from controls with an area under the curve of 0.76 for colorectal cancer. We have identified that dysregulation of glycerophospholipids may contribute to risk of colorectal cancer.
Keywords: biomarkers; colorectal cancer; metabolomics; nested case-control study.
© 2018 UICC.