Human Plasma Metabolomics for Biomarker Discovery: Targeting the Molecular Subtypes in Breast Cancer.

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The aim of this study is to identify differential metabolomic signatures in plasma samples of distinct subtypes of breast cancer patients that could be used in clinical practice as diagnostic biomarkers for these molecular phenotypes and to provide a more individualized and accurate therapeutic procedure. Untargeted LC-HRMS metabolomics approach in positive and negative electrospray ionization mode was used to analyze plasma samples from LA, LB, HER2+ and TN breast cancer patients and healthy controls in order to determine specific metabolomic profiles through univariate and multivariate statistical data analysis. We tentatively identified altered metabolites displaying concentration variations among the four breast cancer molecular subtypes. We found a biomarker panel of 5 candidates in LA, 7 in LB, 5 in HER2 and 3 in TN that were able to discriminate each breast cancer subtype with a false discovery range corrected p-value 1.3. The model clinical value was evaluated with the AUROC, providing diagnostic capacities above 0.85. Our study identifies metabolic profiling differences in molecular phenotypes of breast cancer. This may represent a key step towards therapy improvement in personalized medicine and prioritization of tailored therapeutic intervention strategies.
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breast cancer, human plasma metabolomics, metabolic profiling, molecular subtypes, personalized medicine