Article first published online: 15 FEB 2013
Copyright © 2012 American Association for the Study of Liver Diseases
Volume 57, Issue 5, pages 2072–2077, May 2013
How to Cite
Wang, X., Zhang, A. and Sun, H. (2013), Power of metabolomics in diagnosis and biomarker discovery of hepatocellular carcinoma. Hepatology, 57: 2072–2077. doi: 10.1002/hep.26130
Potential conflict of interest: Nothing to report.
Supported by grants from the Key Program of the Natural Science Foundation of the State (Grant No. 90709019), the National Specific Program on the Subject of Public Welfare (Grant No. 200807014), the National Program for Key Basic Research Projects in China (Grant No. 2005CB523406), and the National Key Program on the Subject of Drug Innovation (Grant No. 2009ZX09502-005).
- Issue published online: 22 APR 2013
- Article first published online: 15 FEB 2013
- Accepted manuscript online: 13 NOV 2012 11:01PM EST
- Manuscript Accepted: 29 OCT 2012
- Manuscript Received: 16 SEP 2012
Hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) is the commonest primary hepatic malignancy and the third most common cause of cancer-related death worldwide. Incidence remains highest in the developing world and is steadily increasing across the developed world. Current diagnostic modalities, of ultrasound and α-fetoprotein, are expensive and lack sensitivity in tumor detection. Because of its asymptomatic nature, HCC is usually diagnosed at late and advanced stages, for which there are no effective therapies. Thus, biomarkers for early detection and molecular targets for treating HCC are urgently needed. Emerging high-throughput metabolomics technologies have been widely applied, aiming at the discovery of candidate biomarkers for cancer staging, prediction of recurrence and prognosis, and treatment selection. Metabolic profiles, which are affected by many physiological and pathological processes, may provide further insight into the metabolic consequences of this severe liver disease. Small-molecule metabolites have an important role in biological systems and represent attractive candidates to understand HCC phenotypes. The power of metabolomics allows an unparalleled opportunity to query the molecular mechanisms of HCC. This technique-driven review aims to demystify the metabolomics pathway, while also illustrating the potential of this technique, with recent examples of its application in HCC. (HEPATOLOGY 2013)