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Int J Cancer. 1997 Mar 28;71(1):31-4.

Elevated levels and altered fatty acid composition of plasma lysophosphatidylcholine(lysoPC) in ovarian cancer patients.

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Department of Human Biology and Nutritional Sciences, University of Guelph, Ontario, Canada.


Lysophosphatidylcholine (lysoPC), a product of phosphatidylcholine (PC) hydrolysis via phospholipase A activity, has been proposed to activate cells from a number of lineages. Here, we demonstrate that lysoPC levels are significantly elevated (by 43% overall, relative to normal controls) in the plasma of ovarian cancer patients. This does not appear to be common to all cancers as 5 out of 6 leukemia patients tested had markedly lower (less than one-half of normal) plasma lysoPC. In the plasma of ovarian cancer patients, the percentages of palmitoyl- and stearoyl-lysoPC species were significantly higher, whereas oleoyl and particularly linoleoyl-lysoPC were significantly lower than in control subjects. The molar ratios of lysoPC/PC and palmitoyl-lysoPC/linoleoyl-lysoPC were also significantly elevated in the plasma of ovarian cancer patients compared with those of control subjects. Furthermore, the calculated value of plasma (lysoPC/ PC) x (palmitoyl-lysoPC/linoleoyl-lysoPC) was markedly higher in patients compared with controls.

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