Identifying metabolic alterations in newly diagnosed small cell lung cancer patients

Shona Pedersen*, Joachim Bavnhøj Hansen, Raluca G Maltesen, Weronika Maria Szejniuk, Trygve Andreassen, Ursula Gerda Inge Falkmer, Søren Risom Kristensen

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review

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Abstract

Background: Small cell lung cancer (SCLC) is a malignant disease with poor prognosis. At the time of diagnosis most patients are already in a metastatic stage. Current diagnosis is based on imaging, histopathology, and immunohistochemistry, but no blood-based biomarkers have yet proven to be clinically successful for diagnosis and screening. The precise mechanisms of SCLC are not fully understood, however, several genetic mutations, protein and metabolic aberrations have been described. We aim at identifying metabolite alterations related to SCLC and to expand our knowledge relating to this aggressive cancer.

Methods: A total of 30 serum samples of patients with SCLC, collected at the time of diagnosis, and 25 samples of healthy controls were included in this study. The samples were analyzed with nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy. Multivariate, univariate and pathways analyses were performed.

Results: Several metabolites were identified to be altered in the pre-treatment serum samples of small-cell lung cancer patients compared to healthy individuals. Metabolites involved in tricarboxylic acid cycle (succinate: fold change (FC) = 2.4, p = 0.068), lipid metabolism (LDL triglyceride: FC = 1.3, p = 0.001; LDL-1 triglyceride: FC = 1.3, p = 0.012; LDL-2 triglyceride: FC = 1.4, p = 0.009; LDL-6 triglyceride: FC = 1.5, p < 0.001; LDL-4 cholesterol: FC = 0.5, p = 0.007; HDL-3 free cholesterol: FC = 0.7, p = 0.002; HDL-4 cholesterol FC = 0.8, p < 0.001; HDL-4 apolipoprotein-A1: FC = 0.8, p = 0.005; HDL-4 apolipoprotein-A2: FC ≥ 0.7, p ≤ 0.001), amino acids (glutamic acid: FC = 1.7, p < 0.001; glutamine: FC = 0.9, p = 0.007, leucine: FC = 0.8, p < 0.001; isoleucine: FC = 0.8, p = 0.016; valine: FC = 0.9, p = 0.032; lysine: FC = 0.8, p = 0.004; methionine: FC = 0.8, p < 0.001; tyrosine: FC = 0.7, p = 0.002; creatine: FC = 0.9, p = 0.030), and ketone body metabolism (3-hydroxybutyric acid FC = 2.5, p < 0.001; acetone FC = 1.6, p < 0.001), among other, were found deranged in SCLC.

Conclusions: This study provides novel insight into the metabolic disturbances in pre-treatment SCLC patients, expanding our molecular understanding of this malignant disease.

Original languageEnglish
Article number100127
JournalMetabolism Open
Volume12
ISSN2589-9368
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2021

Bibliographical note

© 2021 Published by Elsevier Inc.

Keywords

  • Small-cell lung cancer
  • Metabolomics
  • Serum metabolites
  • Pathways
  • Diagnostic signatures

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