Nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy and mass spectrometry-based metabolomics for cancer diagnosis

Hai Wei Gu, Yun Peng Qi, Ning Xu, Jian Hua Ding, Yan Bo An, Huan Wen Chen

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


It is highly desirable to develop and validate novel methods for detecting cancer with higher sensitivity and better specificity. The aim of this review is to introduce a relatively new approach, metabolomics, and explore its potential for cancer diagnosis. We briefly introduced the concept of metabolomics and its relationship with other omics studies in systems biology for cancer detection. The field of metabolomics focuses on the parallel measurement of hundreds of small molecule metabolites in biological samples such as blood, urine, and biopsied tissue. Since metabolite levels are sensitive to subtle changes in the pathological status, metabolomics promises novel avenues for early cancer detection and a better understanding of cancer processes. In fact, many previous metabolomics studies have demonstrated the promises of metabolomics not only for the diagnosis of various kinds of cancer, but also for therapeutic monitoring as well as for drug development. In addition, in this review we discussed the challenges and future directions for developing metabolomics methods towards clinical applications for cancer diagnosis.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1933-1937
Number of pages5
JournalFenxi Huaxue/ Chinese Journal of Analytical Chemistry
Issue number12
StatePublished - Dec 2012
Externally publishedYes


  • Cancer
  • Diagnosis
  • Mass spectrometry
  • Metabolic profiling
  • Metabolomics
  • Nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy
  • Oncology
  • Review

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Analytical Chemistry


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