Research Papers:

Magnetic resonance metabolic profiling of estrogen receptor-positive breast cancer: correlation with currently used molecular markers

Ji Soo Choi, Dahye Yoon, Ja Seoug Koo, Siwon Kim, Vivian Youngjean Park, Eun-Kyung Kim, Suhkmann Kim and Min Jung Kim _

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Oncotarget. 2017; 8:63405-63416. https://doi.org/10.18632/oncotarget.18822

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Ji Soo Choi1,*, Dahye Yoon2,*, Ja Seung Koo3, Siwon Kim4, Vivian Youngjean Park5, Eun-Kyung Kim5, Suhkmann Kim2 and Min Jung Kim5

1Department of Radiology, Breast Cancer Center, Samsung Medical Center, Seoul, Korea

2Department of Chemistry, Center for Proteome Biophysics and Chemistry Institute for Functional Materials, Pusan National University, Busan, Korea

3Department of Pathology, Severance Hospital, Yonsei University College of Medicine, Seoul, Korea

4Department of Forensic Chemistry, National Forensic Service Busan Institute, Yangsan-si, Korea

5Department of Radiology, Research Institute of Radiological Science, Yonsei University College of Medicine, Seoul, Korea

*These authors have contributed equally to this work

Correspondence to:

Min Jung Kim, email: [email protected]

Suhkmann Kim, email: [email protected]

Keywords: breast cancer, ER-positive, luminal, HR-MAS MRS (high-resolution magic angle spinning magnetic resonance spectroscopy), biomarker

Received: January 10, 2017     Accepted: June 02, 2017     Published: June 28, 2017


Estrogen receptor (ER)-positive breast cancers overall have a good prognosis, however, some patients suffer relapses and do not respond to endocrine therapy. The purpose of this study was to determine whether there are any correlations between high-resolution magic angle spinning (HR-MAS) magnetic resonance spectroscopy (MRS) metabolic profiles of core needle biopsy (CNB) specimens and the molecular markers currently used in patients with ER-positive breast cancers. The metabolic profiling of CNB samples from 62 ER-positive cancers was performed by HR-MAS MRS. Metabolic profiles were compared according to human epidermal growth factor receptor 2 (HER2) and Ki-67 status, and luminal type, using the Mann-Whitney test. Multivariate analysis was performed with orthogonal projections to latent structure-discriminant analysis (OPLS-DA). In univariate analysis, the HER2-positive group was shown to have higher levels of glycine and glutamate, compared to the HER2-negative group (P<0.01, and P <0.01, respectively). The high Ki-67 group showed higher levels of glutamate than the low Ki-67 group without statistical significance. Luminal B cancers showed higher levels of glycine (P=0.01) than luminal A cancers. In multivariate analysis, the OPLS-DA models built with HR-MAS MR metabolic profiles showed visible discrimination between the subgroups according to HER2 and Ki-67 status, and luminal type. This study showed that the metabolic profiles of CNB samples assessed by HR-MAS MRS can be used to detect potential prognostic biomarkers as well as to understand the difference in metabolic mechanism among subtypes of ER-positive breast cancer.

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