Despite bladder cancer (BC) remaining one of the most common types of cancer, the pathology of the disease is not fully defined. Motivated by that need, Julia Jacyna and colleagues from the Medical University of Gdańsk in Gdańsk, Poland, compared the metabolic profiles of urine samples collected before transurethral resection of bladder tumor (TURBT) to samples collected one day and two weeks after TURBT. In their article, published in Cancers, the authors stated that they were able to validate differentiated expressions of hippuric acid, pentanedioic acid, and uridine—metabolites which had been identified in a previous report—as well as another set related to nucleotide metabolism and methylation processes.
The study cohort was comprised of 10 patients with non-muscle-invasive bladder cancer (NMIBC). The samples from each of the three timepoints were analyzed using high-performance liquid chromatography, hyphenated with time-of-flight mass spectrometry detection (HPLC-TOF/MS), and gas chromatography coupled with triple quadrupole mass spectrometry detection (GC-QqQ/MS, in a scan mode).
The researchers assessed the levels of metabolites indicated in previous research which had shown significant differences between patients with BC and healthy individuals. Jacyna and the study’s collaborators reported that “some of the differences in the intensity of the signals at three time points were immediately apparent,” along with the notable observation that some metabolites had distinctly different levels at one day post-TURBT compared to before or two weeks after surgery. Overall, the authors felt that their data confirmed the previously identified metabolites as having “the highest potential for differences between urine levels in healthy and BC patients, regardless of the risk factors and inter-individual differences.”
Presenting their previous research and follow-up findings together, the authors emphasized the “great importance” of longitudinal data in metabolomic analyses, and concluded that “it will be most meaningful to focus the next step on amino acids, nucleotides metabolism, and methylation process” in elucidating the pathology of BC.