A prospective study of serum metabolites and colorectal cancer risk

Authors

  • Amanda J. Cross PhD,

    Corresponding author
    1. Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics, School of Public Health, Faculty of Medicine, Imperial College London, London, United Kingdom
    • Corresponding author: Amanda J. Cross, PhD, Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics, School of Public Health, Faculty of Medicine, Imperial College London, St Mary's Campus, Norfolk Place, London, W2 1PG, United Kingdom; Fax: (011) +44 20 7402 2150; amanda.cross1@imperial.ac.uk

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  • Steven C. Moore PhD,

    1. Division of Cancer Epidemiology and Genetics, National Cancer Institute, National Institutes of Health, Department of Health and Human Services, Rockville, Maryland
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  • Simina Boca PhD,

    1. Division of Cancer Epidemiology and Genetics, National Cancer Institute, National Institutes of Health, Department of Health and Human Services, Rockville, Maryland
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  • Wen-Yi Huang PhD,

    1. Division of Cancer Epidemiology and Genetics, National Cancer Institute, National Institutes of Health, Department of Health and Human Services, Rockville, Maryland
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  • Xiaoqin Xiong PhD,

    1. Information Management Services, Inc., Calverton, Maryland
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  • Rachael Stolzenberg-Solomon PhD,

    1. Division of Cancer Epidemiology and Genetics, National Cancer Institute, National Institutes of Health, Department of Health and Human Services, Rockville, Maryland
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  • Rashmi Sinha PhD,

    1. Division of Cancer Epidemiology and Genetics, National Cancer Institute, National Institutes of Health, Department of Health and Human Services, Rockville, Maryland
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  • Joshua N. Sampson PhD

    1. Division of Cancer Epidemiology and Genetics, National Cancer Institute, National Institutes of Health, Department of Health and Human Services, Rockville, Maryland
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  • This article has been contributed to by US Government employees and their work is in the public domain in the USA.

  • We thank Tom Riley, Craig Williams, Michael Furr, and Adam Risch of Information Management Services, Inc. of Silver Spring, Maryland, for data management.

Abstract

BACKGROUND

Colorectal cancer is highly prevalent, and the vast majority of cases are thought to be sporadic, although few risk factors have been identified. Using metabolomics technology, our aim was to identify biomarkers prospectively associated with colorectal cancer.

METHODS

This study included 254 incident colorectal cancers and 254 matched controls nested in the Prostate, Lung, Colorectal, and Ovarian Cancer Screening Trial. Serum samples were collected at baseline, and the mean length of follow-up was 8 years. Serum metabolites were analyzed by ultra-high performance liquid-phase chromatography with tandem mass spectrometry, and gas chromatography coupled with mass spectrometry. Conditional logistic regression was used to calculate odds ratios (OR) and 95% confidence intervals (CI) for metabolites above the limit of detection and present in at least 80% of participants.

RESULTS

A total of 676 serum metabolites were measured; of these, 447 were of known identity and 278 of these were present in >80% of individuals. Overall, there was no association between serum metabolites and colorectal cancer; however, some suggestive associations were observed between individual metabolites and colorectal cancer but none reached statistical significance after Bonferroni correction for multiple comparisons. For example, leucyl-leucine was inversely associated (OR comparing the 90th to the 10th percentile = 0.50; 95% CI = 0.32-0.80; P = .003). In sex-stratified analyses, serum glycochenodeoxycholate was positively associated with colorectal cancer among women (OR90th vs.10th percentile = 5.34; 95% CI = 2.09-13.68; P = .0001).

CONCLUSIONS

No overall associations were observed between serum metabolites and colorectal cancer, but serum glycochenodeoxycholate, a bile acid metabolite, was positively associated with colorectal cancer among women. Cancer 2014;120:3049–3057. © 2014 American Cancer Society.

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