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Urol Oncol. 2011 Sep-Oct;29(5):551-7. doi: 10.1016/j.urolonc.2011.05.013.

Urine metabolomics for kidney cancer detection and biomarker discovery.

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Division of Nephrology, Department of Internal Medicine, University of California, Davis, CA 95616, USA.


Renal cell carcinoma (RCC) is one of the few human cancers whose incidence is increasing. The disease regularly progresses asymptomatically and is frequently metastatic upon presentation, thereby necessitating the development of an early method of detection. A metabolomic approach for biomarker detection using urine as a biofluid is appropriate since the tumor is located in close proximity to the urinary space. By comparing the composition of urine from individuals with RCC to control individuals, differences in metabolite composition of this biofluid can be identified, and these data can be utilized to create a clinically applicable and, possibly, bedside assay. Recent studies have shown that sample handling and processing greatly influences the variability seen in the urinary metabolome of both cancer and control patients. Once a standard method of collection is developed, identifying metabolic derangements associated with RCC will also lead to the investigation of novel targets for therapeutic intervention. The objective of this review is to discuss existing methods for sample collection, processing, data analysis, and recent findings in this emerging field.

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