Volume 4 Supplement 2

Abstracts of the 16th International Charles Heidelberger Symposium on Cancer Research

Open Access

NMR metabonomic study of lung cancer: metabolic profiling of tissues

  • Cláudia M Rocha1Email author,
  • António S Barros2,
  • Ana M Gil1,
  • Brian J Goodfellow1, 6,
  • Isabel M Carreira3, 6,
  • João Bernardo4, 6,
  • Ana Gomes4, 6,
  • Vítor Sousa4, 5, 6,
  • Lina Carvalho4, 5, 6 and
  • Iola F Duarte1, 6
BMC Proceedings20104(Suppl 2):P66


Published: 24 September 2010

This work aims to evaluate the potential of 1H Nuclear Magnetic Resonance (NMR) spectroscopy combined with multivariate statistics (metabonomics) for finding malignancy biomarkers in lung tissue and discriminating between different tumour histological types. Paired tissue samples from 32 patients with primary lung cancer were directly analysed by 1H High Resolution Magic Angle Spinning (HRMAS) NMR (500 MHz) and the spectral profiles subjected to Principal Component Analysis (PCA) and Partial Least Squares Regression Discriminant Analysis (PLS-DA). Tumor and control tissues were clearly discriminated in the PLS-DA model with 95% sensitivity and 100% specificity. In agreement with previous work [1], the metabolites giving rise to this separation were mainly lactate, glycerophosphocholine, phosphocholine, taurine, glutathione and uridine di/tri-phosphate (elevated in tumours), and glucose, phosphoethanolamine, acetate, lysine, methionine, glycine, myo- and scyllo-inositol (reduced in tumours compared to control tissues). Regarding differentiation of histological types, carcinoid tumors showed a distinct profile characterized by very low lipid levels, the presence of broad signals possibly arising from oligopeptides, decreased PC/GPC ratio and increased taurine and ascorbate levels. Epidermoid tumors could also be differentiated from adenocarcinomas due to increased lipids, lactate, creatine and GSH and decreased taurine, choline and PC. The biochemical information retrieved, not available by conventional histopathology, may provide additional criteria for improving clinical decisions and potentially aid in the differential diagnosis of lung tumors.

Authors’ Affiliations

CICECO, Department of Chemistry, University of Aveiro
QOPNA, Department of Chemistry, University of Aveiro
Cytogenetics Laboratory and CNC, Faculty of Medicine, University of Coimbra
University Hospitals of Coimbra
Institute of Pathological Anatomy, Faculty of Medicine, University of Coimbra
CIMAGO, Faculty of Medicine, University of Coimbra


  1. Rocha C, Barros AS, Gil AM, Goodfellow BJ, Humpfer E, Spraul M, Carreira IM, Melo JB, Bernardo J, Gomes A, Sousa V, Carvalho L, Duarte IF: Metabolic profiling of human lung cancer tissue by 1H High Resolution Magic Angle Spinning (HRMAS) NMR spectroscopy. J Proteome Res. 2010, 9: 319-332. 10.1021/pr9006574.View ArticlePubMedGoogle Scholar


© Rocha et al; licensee BioMed Central Ltd. 2010

This article is published under license to BioMed Central Ltd.