Cancer and Metabolism
Traditional Drug Discovery is a Lengthy Process
Although the progress in cancer care is advancing at an unprecedented pace, many cancer types remain deadly. Precision oncology is part of precision medicine dedicated to the task of preventing cancer and delivering the most appropriate therapy to the right patients at the correct time. The identification of actionable targets is paramount, but insufficient. Indeed, drug discovery in oncology is often hindered by the lack of linkage data for new genetic variants, animal models, and understanding of molecular mechanisms. Biomarkers are needed to establish the diagnosis, prognosis, drug response, safety, interactions, patient stratification, and disease classification. Global metabolomics can help with the discovery of all ingredients for successful tailored therapy in cancer.
Metabolomics as a Facilitator in Oncology Research
Metabolomics is the global analysis of small molecule metabolites that, similarly to other omics, can provide vital information on the cancer state otherwise difficult to acquire. Metabolomics, when performed and analyzed correctly, gives a read-out of the ultimate phenotype that is the result of interactions between exposures, treatments, and all other factors that can alter DNA and RNA metabolism, as well as protein activity. Sometimes, metabolomics may be the most sensitive method to identify pathogenic variants, as minute changes in protein structure or its expression levels can result in significant changes in its activity causing alterations to metabolite levels.
The Potential of Metabolomics
Metabolon has vast expertise in metabolomics and a library of over 5,400 metabolites to enable broad coverage of small molecules of a wide range of biochemical classes that play important roles in the human body. The application of metabolomics in oncology research and the clinic via global metabolomics may help unravel cancer risk factors, identify biomarkers for screening, diagnosis, and monitoring, and also provide insights into the biology and therefore into therapeutic targets. Metabolomics can be combined with other omics sciences to obtain additional insights into phenomena like drug resistance.
See how Metabolon can advance your path to preclinical and clinical insights
Metabolomics Panels for Cancer
Amino Acids Targeted Panel
Bile Acids Targeted Panel
Central Carbons Targeted Panel
Free Fatty Acids Targeted Panel
Impaired Glucose Tolerance Targeted Panel
Impaired Glucose Tolerance can be assessed with a single fasted blood draw by measuring a panel of selected metabolites comprised of two small organic acids (α-hydroxybutyric acid (AHB) and 4-methyl-2-oxopentanoic acid (4MOP)), 2 lipids (oleic acid and linoleoyl glycerophosphocholine (LGPC)), a ketone body (β-hydroxybutyric acid (BHBA)), an amino acid (serine), a vitamin (pantothenic acid (vitamin B5)), and glucose.
Tryptophan/Kynurenine Ratio Targeted Panel
The kynurenine pathway is a metabolic pathway leading to the production of nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide (NAD+) from the enzymatic conversion of tryptophan. Immune activation leads to the formation of kynurenine with corresponding loss of tryptophan. The kynurenine/tryptophan ratio has been used to reflect the activity of the tryptophan-degrading enzyme indoleamine 2,3-dioxygenase (IDO) in cellular inflammatory response related to symptoms of depression, schizophrenia, and other neurological diseases.
Metabolon in Action
Identify a key pathway in lung cancer epithelial to mesenchymal transition (EMT) and drug resistance
Metabolomics Provides Insight for Treating Drug-Resistant Relapsed Leukemia
Identification of Therapeutic Target for a Rare Disease Lymphangioleiomyomatosis (LAM)
Better Immunotherapy Outcomes by Improving NK Cell Therapy
Metabolomics is used to increase efficacy of immunotherapy via improving iPSC-derived cell therapy.
Interested in Further Studies?
Once you see the full value of metabolomics, the only remaining question is who does it best? While many laboratories have metabolite profiling or analytical chemistry capabilities, comprehensive metabolomics technologies are extremely rare. Accurate, unbiased metabolite identification across the entire metabolome introduces signal-to-noise challenges that very few labs are equipped to handle. Also, translating massive quantities of data into actionable information is slow, if not impossible, for most because proper interpretation takes two things that are in short supply: experience and a comprehensive database.
Only Metabolon has all four core metabolomics capabilities
Ability to interrogate thousands of metabolites across diverse biochemical space, revealing new insights and opportunities
Ability to integrate the data from different studies into the same dataset, in different geographies, among different patients over time
Ability to inform on proper study design, generate high‐quality data, derive biological insights, and make actionable recommendations
Ability to process hundreds of thousands of samples quickly and cost‐efficiently to service rapidly growing demand
Partner with Metabolon to access:
A library of 5,400+ known metabolites, 2,000 in human plasma, all referenced in the context of biochemical pathways
- That’s 5x the metabolites of the closest competitor
Unparalleled depth and breadth of experience analyzing and interpreting metabolomic data to find meaningful results
- 10,000+ projects with hundreds of clients
- 2,000+ publications covering 500 diseases, including numerous peer-reviewed journals such as Cell, Nature and Science
- Nearly 40 PhDs in data science, molecular biology, and biochemistry
Using our robust platform and visualization tools, our experts are uniquely able to tell you more about your molecule and develop assay panels to help you zero in on the results you need.
Related Oncology Metabolomics Resources
Talk with an expert
Request a quote for our services, get more information on sample types and handling procedures, request a letter of support, or submit a question about how metabolomics can advance your research.
617 Davis Drive, Suite 100
Morrisville, NC 27560
P.O. Box 110407
Research Triangle Park, NC 27709
+1 (919) 572-1711