Metabolomics approach for predicting response to neoadjuvant chemotherapy for breast cancer

Siwei Wei, Lingyan Liu, Jian Zhang, Jeremiah Bowers, G. A Nagana Gowda, Harald Seeger, Tanja Fehm, Hans J. Neubauer, Ulrich Vogel, Susan E. Clare, Daniel Raftery*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

85 Scopus citations


Breast cancer is a clinically heterogeneous disease, which necessitates a variety of treatments and leads to different outcomes. As an example, only some women will benefit from chemotherapy. Identifying patients who will respond to chemotherapy and thereby improve their long-term survival has important implications to treatment protocols and outcomes, while identifying non responders may enable these patients to avail themselves of other investigational approaches or other potentially effective treatments. In this study, serum metabolite profiling was performed to identify potential biomarker candidates that can predict response to neoadjuvant chemotherapy for breast cancer. Metabolic profiles of serum from patients with complete (n = 8), partial (n = 14) and no response (n = 6) to chemotherapy were studied using a combination of nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) spectroscopy, liquid chromatography-mass spectrometry (LC-MS) and statistical analysis methods. The concentrations of four metabolites, three (threonine, isoleucine, glutamine) from NMR and one (linolenic acid) from LC-MS were significantly different when comparing response to chemotherapy. A prediction model developed by combining NMR and MS derived metabolites correctly identified 80% of the patients whose tumors did not show complete response to chemotherapy. These results show promise for larger studies that could result in more personalized treatment protocols for breast cancer patients.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)297-307
Number of pages11
JournalMolecular oncology
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jun 2013


  • Breast cancer
  • Metabolomics
  • Neoadjuvant chemotherapy
  • Therapy response

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Molecular Medicine
  • Genetics
  • Oncology
  • Cancer Research


Dive into the research topics of 'Metabolomics approach for predicting response to neoadjuvant chemotherapy for breast cancer'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this