Aromatic Amino Acids as Biomarkers of Gastric Cancer - - Chromatography Online
Aromatic Amino Acids as Biomarkers of Gastric Cancer

LCGC Europe eNews

Higher levels of aromatic amino acids may indicate early stage gastric cancer, according to a research group in China.1 Gastric cancer is difficult to diagnose at the onset of the disease because symptoms are normally found at a later stage. For patients requiring treatment, time is precious, and so efforts are in place to find new methods of diagnosing gastric cancer to remove the need for a display of physical symptoms.

An endoscopy for sample collection followed by a pathological biopsy is the diagnostic method of choice for most clinicians. This is said to be highly invasive and in some cases inaccurate.

In it’s most basic definition, cancer is a collection of cancerous cells with invasive properties that disrupt the body’s normal functions. When ‘normal’ cells transform into cancerous cells, there are chemical changes within the metabolome. Researchers in China have exploited this characteristic to propose novel gastric cancer biomarkers.

Samples were taken from the gastric juice of 185 subjects; some were healthy and some had been diagnosed with either early- or late-stage gastric cancer. Liquid chromatography–mass spectrometry (LC–MS) analysis showed a higher level of aromatic amino acids, including tyrosine, phenylalanine and tryptophan in the metabolome of patients diagnosed with early stage gastric cancer compared to control subjects.

Biomarkers could potentially be used in large-scale population screening programmes to increase diagnosis rates; however, the sample size of the study and the boundaries of what is normal and what is not need to be optimized.


1. Deng et al, PLoS ONE 7(11), e49434 (2012).


blog comments powered by Disqus
LCGC E-mail Newsletters
Global E-newsletters subscribe here:



Column Watch: Ron Majors, established authority on new column technologies, keeps readers up-to-date with new sample preparation trends in all branches of chromatography and reviews developments. LATEST: When Bad Things Happen to Good Food: Applications of HPLC to Detect Food Adulteration

Perspectives in Modern HPLC: Michael W. Dong is a senior scientist in Small Molecule Drug Discovery at Genentech in South San Francisco, California. He is responsible for new technologies, automation, and supporting late-stage research projects in small molecule analytical chemistry and QC of small molecule pharmaceutical sciences. LATEST: HPLC for Characterization and Quality Control of Therapeutic Monoclonal Antibodies

MS — The Practical Art: Kate Yu brings her expertise in the field of mass spectrometry and hyphenated techniques to the pages of LCGC. In this column she examines the mass spectrometric side of coupled liquid and gas-phase systems. Troubleshooting-style articles provide readers with invaluable advice for getting the most from their mass spectrometers. LATEST: Radical Mass Spectrometry as a New Frontier for Bioanalysis

LC Troubleshooting: LC Troubleshooting sets about making HPLC methods easier to master. By covering the basics of liquid chromatography separations and instrumentation, John Dolan is able to highlight common problems and provide remedies for them. LATEST: How Much Can I Inject? Part I: Injecting in Mobile Phase

More LCGC Columnists>>

LCGC North America Editorial Advisory Board>>

LCGC Europe Editorial Advisory Board>>

LCGC Editorial Team Contacts>>

Source: LCGC Europe eNews,
Click here