Metabolome analysis for pancreatic cancer risk in nested case-control study: Japan Public Health Center-based prospective Study

Cancer Sci. 2018 May;109(5):1672-1681. doi: 10.1111/cas.13573. Epub 2018 Apr 16.


Discovery of a high-risk group for pancreatic cancer is important for prevention of pancreatic cancer. The present study was conducted as a nested case-control study including 170 pancreatic cancer cases and 340 matched controls of our population-based cohort study involving 30 239 subjects who answered a baseline questionnaire and supplied blood samples. Twelve targeted metabolites were quantitatively analyzed by gas chromatography/tandem mass spectrometry. Odds ratios (OR) and their corresponding 95% confidence intervals (CI) were calculated using conditional logistic regression models. Statistically significant P-value was defined as P < .05. Increasing 1,5-anhydro-d-glucitol (1,5-AG) levels were associated with a decreasing trend in pancreatic cancer risk (OR of quartile 4 [Q4], 0.50; 95% CI, 0.27-0.93; P = .02). Increasing methionine levels were also associated with an increasing trend of pancreatic cancer risk (OR of Q4, 1.79; 95% CI, 0.94-3.40: P = .03). Additional adjustment for potential confounders attenuated the observed associations of 1,5-AG and methionine (P for trend = .06 and .07, respectively). Comparing subjects diagnosed in the first 0-6 years, higher levels of 1,5-AG, asparagine, tyrosine and uric acid showed a decreasing trend for pancreatic cancer risk (P for trend = .04, .04, .04 and .02, respectively), even after adjustment for potential confounders. We found that the 12 target metabolites were not associated with pancreatic cancer risk. However, metabolic changes in the subjects diagnosed in the first 0-6 years showed a similar tendency to our previous reports. These results might suggest that these metabolites are useful for early detection but not for prediction of pancreatic cancer.

Keywords: JPHC; cohort study; metabolomics; pancreatic cancer; risk.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Asparagine / analysis
  • Case-Control Studies
  • Deoxyglucose / analysis
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Logistic Models
  • Male
  • Metabolome*
  • Methionine / analysis
  • Middle Aged
  • Pancreatic Neoplasms / etiology
  • Pancreatic Neoplasms / metabolism*
  • Prospective Studies
  • Risk


  • 1,5-anhydroglucitol
  • Asparagine
  • Deoxyglucose
  • Methionine