Tang, X, et al. A Joint Analysis of Metabolomics and Genetics of Breast Cancer. Breast Cancer Res, 2014. 16 (4):415.

Metabolon results led to:

 • A clear delineation of tumors by metabolic signatures, complementing cancer genomics

• Potential new targets and biomarkers

• A reminder that metabotyping of tumors by metabolomics should accompany any experimental efforts to characterize tumors


The genetic drivers of cancer are aggressively interrogated with a variety of omics, as seen in efforts like The Cancer Genome Atlas (TCGA). Surprisingly, one significant metric that is not frequently included in TGCA is metabolomics. Therefore, investigators profiled meticulously characterized breast tumors from TCGA with metabolomics (tumor metabotyping). Metabolomic signatures were apparent for almost all segregating tumor features (i.e. ER status, major oncogenes status - BRCA, P53). Many of these signatures were validated by review of another metabolomics of breast cancer study including high 2-HG. Bolstering the rationale for routine metabotyping of tumors is the fact that high 2-HG tumors had no mutation in the oncogene that has been shown to directly produce 2-HG in other cancer types. The results strongly illustrate a huge opportunity in cancer research – metabotyping of tumors to identify common metabolic features and to cut through genomic heterogeneity and signaling redundancy to identify “hot-spots” for targeting tumors.


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