, 15:147 | Cite as

A metabolic profile of routine needle biopsies identified tumor type specific metabolic signatures for breast cancer stratification: a pilot study

  • Narumi Harada-ShojiEmail author
  • Tomoyoshi Soga
  • Hiroshi Tada
  • Minoru Miyashita
  • Mutsuo Harada
  • Gou Watanabe
  • Yohei Hamanaka
  • Akiko Sato
  • Takashi Suzuki
  • Akihiko Suzuki
  • Takanori Ishida
Original Article



Metabolomics has recently emerged as a tool for understanding comprehensive tumor-associated metabolic dysregulation. However, only limited application of this technology has been introduced into the clinical setting of breast cancer.


The aim of this study was to determine the feasibility of metabolome analysis using routine CNB/VAB samples from breast cancer patients and to elucidate metabolic signatures using metabolic profiling.


After breast cancer screenings, 20 consecutive patients underwent CNB/VAB, and diagnosed with benign, DCIS and IDC by histology. Metabolome analysis was performed using CE–MS. Differential metabolites were then analyzed and evaluated with MetaboAnalyst 4.0.


We measured 116-targeted metabolites involved in energy metabolism. Principal component analysis and unsupervised hierarchical analysis revealed a distinct metabolic signature unique to namely “pure” IDC samples, whereas that of DCIS was similar to benign samples. Pathway analysis unveiled the most affected pathways of the “pure” IDC metabotype, including “pyrimidine,” “alanine, aspartate, and glutamate” and “arginine and proline” pathways.


Our proof-of-concept study demonstrated that CE–MS-based CNB/VAB metabolome analysis is feasible for implementation in routine clinical settings. The most affected pathways in this study may contribute to improved breast cancer stratification and precision medicine.


Metabolome analysis Breast cancer Needle breast biopsy CE–MS 



This work was supported by research Grants from the Astellas Foundation for Research on Metabolic Disorders.

Author contributions

NH-S and TI conceived the study. NH-S and TS contributed to the study design. NH-S, HT, MM, GW, YH, AS, TS, AS and TI carried out the sample collections. NH-S, MH and TS performed the data analysis. NH-S, MH and TI drafted the manuscript. All authors read and approved the final manuscript.

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

There are no conflict of interest in relation to this manuscript for any of the authors listed above.

Supplementary material

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Narumi Harada-Shoji
    • 1
    Email author
  • Tomoyoshi Soga
    • 2
  • Hiroshi Tada
    • 1
  • Minoru Miyashita
    • 1
  • Mutsuo Harada
    • 3
  • Gou Watanabe
    • 1
  • Yohei Hamanaka
    • 1
  • Akiko Sato
    • 1
  • Takashi Suzuki
    • 4
  • Akihiko Suzuki
    • 5
  • Takanori Ishida
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Breast and Endocrine Surgical OncologyTohoku University Graduate School of MedicineSendaiJapan
  2. 2.Institute for Advanced BiosciencesKeio UniversityYamagataJapan
  3. 3.Department of Cardiovascular MedicineThe University of TokyoTokyoJapan
  4. 4.Department of Pathology and HistotechnologyTohoku University Graduate School of MedicineSendaiJapan
  5. 5.Department of Breast and Endocrine SurgeryTohoku Medical and Pharmaceutical UniversitySendaiJapan

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