A pilot study: Metabolic profiling of plasma and saliva samples from newly diagnosed glioblastoma patients

Juliana Muller Bark, Avinash V. Karpe, James D. Doecke, Paul Leo, Rosalind L. Jeffree, Benjamin Chua, Bryan W. Day, David J. Beale, Chamindie Punyadeera

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

5 Citations (Scopus)


Background: Despite aggressive treatment, more than 90% of glioblastoma (GBM) patients experience recurrences. GBM response to therapy is currently assessed by imaging techniques and tissue biopsy. However, difficulties with these methods may cause misinterpretation of treatment outcomes. Currently, no validated therapy response biomarkers are available for monitoring GBM progression. Metabolomics holds potential as a complementary tool to improve the interpretation of therapy responses to help in clinical interventions for GBM patients. Methods: Saliva and blood from GBM patients were collected pre and postoperatively. Patients were stratified conforming their progression-free survival (PFS) into favourable or unfavourable clinical outcomes (>9 months or PFS ≤ 9 months, respectively). Analysis of saliva (whole-mouth and oral rinse) and plasma samples was conducted utilising LC-QqQ-MS and LC-QTOF-MS to determine the metabolomic and lipidomic profiles. The data were investigated using univariate and multivariate statistical analyses and graphical LASSO-based graphic network analyses. Results: Altogether, 151 metabolites and 197 lipids were detected within all saliva and plasma samples. Among the patients with unfavourable outcomes, metabolites such as cyclic-AMP, 3-hydroxy-kynurenine, dihydroorotate, UDP and cis-aconitate were elevated, compared to patients with favourable outcomes during pre-and post-surgery. These metabolites showed to impact the pentose phosphate and Warburg effect pathways. The lipid profile of patients who experienced unfavourable outcomes revealed a higher heterogeneity in the abundance of lipids and fewer associations between markers in contrast to the favourable outcome group. Conclusion: Our findings indicate that changes in salivary and plasma metabolites in GBM patients can potentially be employed as less invasive prognostic biomarkers/biomarker panel but validation with larger cohorts is required.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)11427-11437
Number of pages11
JournalCancer Medicine
Issue number10
Publication statusPublished - May 2023
Externally publishedYes


  • blood
  • glioblastoma
  • lipids
  • metabolites
  • metabolomics
  • saliva

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