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Lancet. 1987 Apr 11;1(8537):829-34.

Proteolipid identified by magnetic resonance spectroscopy in plasma of a patient with borderline ovarian tumour.


Magnetic resonance spectroscopy (MRS) can identify abnormal lipoproteins in the plasma of patients with premalignant and malignant tumours. Proteolipid complexes, 8-11 nm and 25-28 nm in size, were isolated from the plasma of a patient with a borderline ovarian tumour. These complexes, which generated a characteristically long MRS T2 relaxation value (greater than 400 ms), were disrupted by ribonuclease. None of the conventional lipoproteins had a T2 value above 160 ms. Chemical analysis of the proteolipid complexes showed a 20% glycolipid component, and MRS identified a fucosylated molecule as the origin of the long T2 value. 9 months after resection of all tumour, a visible lipoprotein band, possibly lipoprotein (a), persisted in the plasma but neither the long T2 relaxation value nor the 8-11 nm or 25-28 nm particles were present. The long T2 relaxation value in the MRS profile, found in isolated proteolipid and unfractionated plasma and serum of other patients with carcinoma of the ovary and colon, provides a non-invasive method of assaying for cancer.

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