Research Papers:

Does the 1H-NMR plasma metabolome reflect the host-tumor interactions in human breast cancer?

Vincent Richard _, Raphaël Conotte, David Mayne and Jean-Marie Colet

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Oncotarget. 2017; 8:49915-49930. https://doi.org/10.18632/oncotarget.18307

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Vincent Richard1,2,3, Raphaël Conotte2,3, David Mayne4 and Jean-Marie Colet2,3

1Department of Medical Oncology, CHU Ambroise Paré, B-7000 Mons, Belgium

2Laboratory of Human Biology and Toxicology, Faculty of Medicine and Pharmacy, University of Mons, B-7000 Mons, Belgium

3UMHAP, Bioprofiling Unit, B-7000 Mons, Belgium

4Unité de Recherche Clinique, CHU Ambroise Paré, B-7000 Mons, Belgium

Correspondence to:

Vincent Richard, email: [email protected]

Keywords: breast cancer, metabolomics, 1H-NMR, plasma, profiling

Received: November 10, 2016     Accepted: April 01, 2017     Published: May 30, 2017


Breast cancer (BC) is the most common diagnosed cancer and the leading cause of cancer death in women worldwide. There is an obvious need for a better understanding of BC biology. Alterations in the serum metabolome of BC patients have been identified but their clinical significance remains elusive. We evaluated by 1H-Nuclear Magnetic Resonance (1H-NMR) spectroscopy, filtered plasma metabolome of 50 early (EBC) and 15 metastatic BC (MBC) patients. Using Principal Component Analysis, Partial Least-Squares Discriminant Analysis and Hierarchical Clustering we show that plasma levels of glucose, lactate, pyruvate, alanine, leucine, isoleucine, glutamate, glutamine, valine, lysine, glycine, threonine, tyrosine, phenylalanine, acetate, acetoacetate, β-hydroxy-butyrate, urea, creatine and creatinine are modulated across patients clusters. In particular lactate levels are inversely correlated with the tumor size in the EBC cohort (Pearson correlation r = −0.309; p = 0.044). We suggest that, in BC patients, tumor cells could induce modulation of the whole patient’s metabolism even at early stages. If confirmed in a lager study these observations could be of clinical importance.

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