Profiling of polar urine metabolite extracts from Chinese colorectal cancer patients to screen for potential diagnostic and adverse-effect biomarkers

Colorectal Cancer

J Cancer. 2020 Oct 8;11(23):6925-6938. doi: 10.7150/jca.47631. eCollection 2020.


Background: Metabolomics has demonstrated its potential in the early diagnosis, drug safety evaluation and personalized toxicology research of various cancers. Objectives: We aim to screen for potential diagnostic and capecitabine-related adverse effect (CRAE) biomarkers from urinary endogenous metabolites in Chinese colorectal cancer (CRC) patients. Methods: The metabolic profiles of 139 CRC patients and 50 non-neoplastic controls were analyzed using ultra-high-performance liquid chromatography combined with quadrupole time-of-flight mass spectrometry. Results: There were 41 metabolites identified between the CRC patients and the non-neoplastic controls, and 19 metabolites were identified between CRC patients with and without CRAE. Based on these identified metabolites, bioinformatic analysis and prediction model construction were completed. Most of these differential metabolites have important roles in cell proliferation and differentiation and the immune system. Based on binary logistic regression, a CRC prediction model, composed of 3-methylhistidine, N-heptanoylglycine, N1,N12-diacetylspermine and hippurate, was established, with an area under curve (AUC) of 0.980 (95% CI: 0.953-1.000; sensitivity: 94.3%; specificity: 92.0%) in the training set, and an AUC of 0.968 (95% CI: 0.933-1.000; sensitivity: 89.9%; specificity: 92.0%) in the testing set. In addition, methionine and 4-pyridoxic acid can be combined to predict hand foot syndrome, with an AUC of 0.884; ubiquinone-1 and 4-pyridoxic acid can be combined to predict anemia, with an AUC of 0.889; and 5-acetamidovalerate and 3,4-methylenesebacic acid can be combined to predict neutropenia, with an AUC of 0.882. Conclusion: The profiling of urine polar metabolites has great potential in the early detection of CRC and the prediction of CRAE.