1. Liver Carcinogenesis Section,
2. Molecular Epidemiology Section,
3. Pancreatic Cancer Unit, Laboratory of Human Carcinogenesis, Center for Cancer Research, National Cancer Institute, Bethesda, MD, USA.
*Current address: Institute of Biophysics, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing, China.
Molecular profiling of primary tumors may facilitate the classification of patients with cancer into more homogenous biological groups to aid clinical management. Metabolomic profiling has been shown to be a powerful tool in characterizing the biological mechanisms underlying a disease but has not been evaluated for its ability to classify cancers by their tissue of origin. Thus, we assessed metabolomic profiling as a novel tool for multiclass cancer characterization. Global metabolic profiling was employed to identify metabolites in paired tumor and non-tumor liver (n=60), breast (n=130) and pancreatic (n=76) tissue specimens. Unsupervised principal component analysis showed that metabolites are principally unique to each tissue and cancer type. Such a difference can also be observed even among early stage cancers, suggesting a significant and unique alteration of global metabolic pathways associated with each cancer type. Our global high-throughput metabolomic profiling study shows that specific biochemical alterations distinguish liver, pancreatic and breast cancer and could be applied as cancer classification tools to differentiate tumors based on tissue of origin.
Keywords: Breast, Cancer, Liver, Metabolite, Pancreas.