The metabolic profiles of pterin compounds as potential biomarkers of bladder cancer—Integration of analytical-based approach with biostatistical methodology

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Cancer disease is the second leading cause of death across the world. The analysis of potential biomarkers of cancer can be useful in cancer screening or cancer diagnosis, and may provide valuable information on the disease risk and progression. Pterin compounds have been studied as candidates of potential biomarkers as their elevated levels have been reported in various cancer diseases.

The objective of the study was to compare the profiles of six pterin compounds in urine of 35 healthy subjects and 46 patients diagnosed of bladder cancer with the use of HPLC coupled with fluorimetric detection. The results of the chromatographic analysis together with biostatistical-based approach showed, that the concentrations of pterin compounds in bladder cancer patients were higher as compared to healthy individuals, and statistically significant differences between patients and controls were reported for xanthopterin and isoxanthopterin. Moreover, gender-specific analysis revealed, that the concentrations of pterins in the group of women reached higher values in comparison to men. For metabolites juxtaposed in pairs, namely xanthopterin and isoxanthopterin as well as for neopterin and biopterin, we found significant positive correlations in the group of both, patients and healthy individuals.

We therefore conclude, that chromatographic analysis with simultaneous extensive biostatistical-based interpretation of the metabolite profiles may provide deeper understanding of the relationships between pterin metabolites. The results do not prejudge the possibility of using pterin compounds in the diagnosis of bladder tumors. However the results may have an impact on the study of bladder cancer biomarkers.

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