Renal cell carcinoma: a critical analysis of metabolomic biomarkers emerging from current model systems

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Abstract

Metabolomics, an emerging field of “omics” sciences, has caught wide scientific attention in the area of biomarker research for cancers in which early diagnostic biomarkers have the potential to greatly improve patient outcome, such as renal cell carcinoma (RCC). Metabolomic approaches have been successfully applied to various human RCC model systems, mostlyex vivoneoplastic renal tissues and biofluids (urine and serum) from patients with RCC. Importantly, in contrast to other cancers, only a few studies have addressed the RCC metabolome using cancer cell culture–basedin vitromodels. Herein, we first carried out a comprehensive review of current metabolomic data in RCC, with emphasis on metabolite disturbances and dysregulated metabolic pathways identified in each of these experimental models. We then critically analyzed the consistency of evidence in this field and whether metabolites found altered in tumor cell and tissue microenvironment are reflected in biofluids, which constitute the rationale underlying the translation of discovered metabolic biomarkers into noninvasive diagnostic tools. Finally, dominant metabolic pathways and promising metabolites as biomarkers for diagnosis and prognosis of RCC are outlined.

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