Untargeted LC-HRMS-based metabolomics to identify novel biomarkers of metastatic colorectal cancer.

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Colorectal cancer is one of the main causes of cancer death worldwide, and novel biomarkers are urgently needed for its early diagnosis and treatment. The utilization of metabolomics to identify and quantify metabolites in body fluids may allow the detection of changes in their concentrations that could serve as diagnostic markers for colorectal cancer and may also represent new therapeutic targets. Metabolomics generates a pathophysiological 'fingerprint' that is unique to each individual. The purpose of our study was to identify a differential metabolomic signature for metastatic colorectal cancer. Serum samples from 60 healthy controls and 65 patients with metastatic colorectal cancer were studied by liquid chromatography coupled to high-resolution mass spectrometry in an untargeted metabolomic approach. Multivariate analysis revealed a separation between patients with metastatic colorectal cancer and healthy controls, who significantly differed in serum concentrations of one endocannabinoid, two glycerophospholipids, and two sphingolipids. These findings demonstrate that metabolomics using liquid-chromatography coupled to high-resolution mass spectrometry offers a potent diagnostic tool for metastatic colorectal cancer.
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