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Expert Rev Gastroenterol Hepatol. 2014 Nov;8(8):847-9. doi: 10.1586/17474124.2014.945912. Epub 2014 Aug 9.

Colorectal cancer: the potential of metabolic fingerprinting.

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CERM and Department of Chemistry, University of Florence, 50019 Sesto Fiorentino, Italy.


Metabolomics is a relatively new omics science that can provide a strong individual small-molecule fingerprint. Disease onset can be monitored as a deviation from the normal healthy fingerprint at the systemic level or in tissues from the diseased organ(s). By applying mass spectrometry and nuclear magnetic resonance as analytical platforms, metabolomics has been used for colorectal cancer phenotyping at different levels. The metabolic profile as a whole is a complex biomarker of diagnostic and prognostic value. Results are promising for the implementation of the method at the clinical level, but larger scale studies and extensive standardization of the pre-analytical phase are needed for a validated definition of the colorectal cancer signature.


NMR; colorectal cancer; mass spectrometry; metabolome; metabolomics

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