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Fong M Y, et al., Identification of Metabolites in the Normal Ovary and Their Transformation in Primary and Metastatic Ovarian Cancer. PLoS One, 2011. 6(5): e19963.

SYNOPSIS

Metabolon results led to:
Identification of novel human biomarkers that track with aggressiveness of ovarian cancer
Revealed metabolic mechanisms underlying disease state and therefore potential targets

Key metabolomic observations:
Tocopherols, related to oxidative stress, are an attractive biomarker for metastatic ovarian cancer
Hallmarks of cancers were observed including Warburg metabolism and fatty acid synthesis suggesting these biochemicalsmay be generic across multiple cancers

Synopsis
Detection strategies for ovarian cancer are ineffective such that typically, the disease is in Stage IV when therapies struggle to combat the disease. To better understand the metabolomeof the normal ovary and to derive associated biomarkers, metabolomicsof tissues from an ovary with neoplastictransformation and metastatic disease progression was done. Significant changes in energy utilization and oxidative stress were detected as would be expected in cancerous tissue. Alterations in amino acid metabolites may not only provide insight into disease mechanism but also provide a source of potential biomarkers tied to early disease. Characterization of tocopherolsas candidate biomarkers also links alterations to disease mechanism and suggests it may be possible to identify biochemicalsthat could indicate early detection of perturbation prior to overt establishment of phenotype.

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