Metabolites as Diagnostic Biomarkers for Pancreatic Cancer

Metabolites as Diagnostic Biomarkers for Pancreatic Cancer

Metabolites as Diagnostic Biomarkers for Pancreatic Cancer

Due to the complex and latent pathogenesis of pancreatic cancer (PC) and the lack of early diagnostic methods, PC is one of the most aggressive and lethal tumors among malignant tumors. Alfa Cytology's goal is to help our clients develop reliable biomarkers for the evaluation and management of PC. Here, we employ newly developed metabolomics methods to help our customers to develop cancer metabolites for PC diagnostics, involving the identification and validation of metabolite biomarkers from various body fluids.

Metabolomics and PC

Metabolomics is defined as a holistic analytical approach to detecting low-molecular-weight metabolites in an organism or cell system. Metabolomics can be used to analyze a large number of compounds and biological samples for cancer screening and early detection. This method involves obtaining tissues or using less invasive methods such as collecting serum, saliva, urine, and other biofluids. Cancer is known to have altered cellular metabolism. Gas chromatography-mass spectrometry (GC-MS), nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR), and liquid chromatography (LC)-MS are sensitive and commonly used techniques to determine subtle chemical changes caused by metabolic disturbances during tumor development.

The service offering at Alfa Cytology

Because the serum is a non-invasive and readily available source of metabolic samples, many studies have focused on the analysis of serum metabolism in PC and healthy controls. Although tissue metabolic analysis of early PDAC is currently scarce. Tissue metabolism can provide more systematic metabolic information that can help explore the upstream regulatory mechanisms of PC and discover more specific biomarkers. Notably, our services support the identification and validation of metabolite biomarkers from cancer tissue and various body fluids. Based on our experienced scientists and advanced technologies, we are capable of offering the following services, specifically:

  • Experimental design and consultation
  • Optimized and validated sample preparation protocol
  • Metabolomic experiment and data analysis
  • Establishment of potential metabolic biomarkers or metabolites model
  • Evaluate the specificity and sensitivity of metabolite biomarkers for PC diagnosis
Various potential biomarkers for PC
Category Potential biomarkers
Pancreatic tissue Leucine, isoleucine, valine, lactate, alanine, phosphocholine, glycerophosphocholine, taurine, and betaine; taurine, lactate, creatine, and glutamate
Serum 3-hydroxybutyrate, 3-hydroxyisovalerate, lactate, trimethylamine-N-oxide, isoleucine, triglyceride, leucine, and creatine; glutamate, acetone, 3-hydroxybutyrate, glucose, phenylalanine, formate, mannose, ethanol, asparagine, creatine, proline, and glycerol
Plasma N-methylalanine, lysine, glutamine, phenylalanine, arachidonic acid, lysophosphatidylcholine (18:2), phosphatidylcholine (34:2), phosphatidylethanolamine (26:0), tauroursodeoxycholic acid, taurocholic acid, deoxycholylglycine, and cholylglycine
Urine Acetoacetate, citrate, creatinine, glucose, glycine, hippurate, 3-hydoxyisovalerate, leucine, 2-phenylacetamide, and trigonelline
Saliva Leucine, isoleucine, tryptophan, valine, glutamate, phenylalanine, glutamine, and aspartate

As alterations in metabolites are closely related to disease, metabolomic approaches have been an additional opportunity and powerful tools to detect perturbations in the metabolome. To help our customers develop metabolites as biomarkers for early diagnosis of PC, we have adopted newly developed metabolomic approaches that allow identification and validation of metabolite biomarkers from a variety of samples to facilitate sensitive and efficient diagnosis of PC. If you are interested in our services, please feel free to contact us.


  1. Di Gangi, Iole Maria, et al. "Metabolomic profile in pancreatic cancer patients: a consensus-based approach to identify highly discriminating metabolites." Oncotarget 7.5 (2016): 5815.
  2. Shu, Xiang, et al. "P rospective metabolomics study identifies potential novel blood metabolites associated with pancreatic cancer risk." International journal of cancer 143.9 (2018): 2161-2167.
All of our services are intended for preclinical research use only and cannot be used to diagnose, treat or manage patients.