Serum metabolomics as a novel diagnostic approach for gastrointestinal cancer

Atsuki Ikeda, Shin Nishiumi, Masakazu Shinohara, Tomoo Yoshie, Naoya Hatano, Tatsuya Okuno, Takeshi Bamba, Eiichiro Fukusaki, Tadaomi Takenawa, Takeshi Azuma, Masaru Yoshida

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

124 Citations (Scopus)


Conventional tumor markers are unsuitable for detecting carcinoma at an early stage and lack clinical efficacy and utility. In this study, we attempted to investigate the differences in serum metabolite profiles of gastrointestinal cancers and healthy volunteers using a metabolomic approach and searched for sensitive and specific metabolomic biomarker candidates. Human serum samples were obtained esophageal (n=15), gastric (n=11), and colorectal (n=12) cancer patients and healthy volunteers (n=12). A model for evaluating metabolomic biomarker candidates was constructed using multiple classification analysis, and the results were assessed with receiver operating characteristic curves. Among the 58 metabolites, the levels of nine, five and 12 metabolites were significantly changed in the esophageal, gastric and colorectal cancer patients, respectively, compared with the healthy volunteers. Multiple classification analysis revealed that the variations in the levels of malonic acid and l-serine largely contributed to the separation of esophageal cancer; gastric cancer was characterized by changes in the levels of 3-hydroxypropionic acid and pyruvic acid; and l-alanine, glucuronoic lactone and l-glutamine contributed to the separation of colorectal cancer. Our approach revealed that some metabolites are more sensitive for detecting gastrointestinal cancer than conventional biomarkers. Our study supports the potential of metabolomics as an early diagnostic tool for cancer.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)548-558
Number of pages11
JournalBiomedical Chromatography
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - May 2012
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Analytical Chemistry
  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Biology
  • Pharmacology
  • Drug Discovery
  • Clinical Biochemistry


Dive into the research topics of 'Serum metabolomics as a novel diagnostic approach for gastrointestinal cancer'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this