Industry News: Cancer-Associated Metabolic Changes Revealed In Ovary Metabolome Studies

16 Jun 2011

Metabolon, Inc., the leader in metabolomics, biomarker discovery and analysis, announces the publication of “Identification of Metabolites in the Normal Ovary and Their Transformation in Primary and Metastatic Ovarian Cancer”, in PLOS One (PLoS ONE 6(5): 319963.).

The application of non-targeted biochemical profiling (metabolomics) to human ovary tissue revealed altered metabolism in primary epithelial ovarian cancer (EOC) and metastatic tumors resulting from primary ovarian cancer (MOC). The study provides the first catalog of the metabolome of the human ovary and how cancer changes its composition. The work was carried out by co-authors Miranda Y. Fong and Sham S. Kakar from the University of Louisville, Louisville, KY in collaboration with Metabolon scientists.

The human ovary metabolome was found to contain over 360 metabolites. Significant changes in energy utilisation and an enhanced oxidative stress response coincided with primary epithelial ovarian cancer and metastatic tumors. In addition, N-acetylaspartate and N-acetyl-aspartyl-glutamate, novel metabolites in the ovary, were identified, although the role of these molecules in ovarian physiology has not yet been determined.

The biochemical changes observed provide insight into the biochemical consequences of transformation and provide candidate biomarkers of ovarian oncogenesis. These biomarkers could conceivably be used as surrogate endpoints in clinical trials and could suggest new metabolic targets for cancer management as well as provide complementary targets for chemotherapy treatment. Future validation studies will determine the clinical utility of these observations for diagnosis and clinical management of ovarian cancer patients.