Elevated levels and altered fatty acid composition of plasma lysophosphatidylcholine(lysoPC) in ovarian cancer patients

Int J Cancer. 1997 Mar 28;71(1):31-4. doi: 10.1002/(sici)1097-0215(19970328)71:1<31::aid-ijc7>3.0.co;2-4.


Lysophosphatidylcholine (lysoPC), a product of phosphatidylcholine (PC) hydrolysis via phospholipase A activity, has been proposed to activate cells from a number of lineages. Here, we demonstrate that lysoPC levels are significantly elevated (by 43% overall, relative to normal controls) in the plasma of ovarian cancer patients. This does not appear to be common to all cancers as 5 out of 6 leukemia patients tested had markedly lower (less than one-half of normal) plasma lysoPC. In the plasma of ovarian cancer patients, the percentages of palmitoyl- and stearoyl-lysoPC species were significantly higher, whereas oleoyl and particularly linoleoyl-lysoPC were significantly lower than in control subjects. The molar ratios of lysoPC/PC and palmitoyl-lysoPC/linoleoyl-lysoPC were also significantly elevated in the plasma of ovarian cancer patients compared with those of control subjects. Furthermore, the calculated value of plasma (lysoPC/ PC) x (palmitoyl-lysoPC/linoleoyl-lysoPC) was markedly higher in patients compared with controls.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Fatty Acids / blood*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Leukemia / blood
  • Lysophosphatidylcholines / blood*
  • Lysophosphatidylcholines / chemistry*
  • Middle Aged
  • Ovarian Neoplasms / blood*
  • Phosphatidylcholines / blood*


  • Fatty Acids
  • Lysophosphatidylcholines
  • Phosphatidylcholines