Integrated targeted metabolomic and lipidomic analysis: A novel approach to classifying early cystic precursors to invasive pancreatic cancer


Pancreatic cystic neoplasms (PCNs) are a highly prevalent disease of the pancreas. Among PCNs, Intraductal Papillary Mucinous Neoplasms (IPMNs) are common lesions that may progress from low-grade dysplasia (LGD) through high-grade dysplasia (HGD) to invasive cancer. Accurate discrimination of IPMN-associated neoplastic grade is an unmet clinical need. Targeted (semi)quantitative analysis of 100 metabolites and >1000 lipid species were performed on peri-operative pancreatic cyst fluid and pre-operative plasma from IPMN and serous cystic neoplasm (SCN) patients in a pancreas resection cohort (n = 35). Profiles were correlated against histological diagnosis and clinical parameters after correction for confounding factors. Integrated data modeling was used for group classification and selection of the best explanatory molecules. Over 1000 different compounds were identified in plasma and cyst fluid. IPMN profiles showed significant lipid pathway alterations compared to SCN. Integrated data modeling discriminated between IPMN and SCN with 100% accuracy and distinguished IPMN LGD or IPMN HGD and invasive cancer with up to 90.06% accuracy. Free fatty acids, ceramides, and triacylglycerol classes in plasma correlated with circulating levels of CA19-9, albumin and bilirubin. Integrated metabolomic and lipidomic analysis of plasma or cyst fluid can improve discrimination of IPMN from SCN and within PMNs predict the grade of dysplasia.

Scientific Reports, 9(1): 10208. doi: 10.1038/s41598-019-46634-6