Affiliation: Department of Biochemistry and Cell Biology, Rice University, Houston, TX 77251-1892, USA.
Tumor progression and metastasis are linked to cellular metabolism. Cancer cells, being highly proliferative, show significant alterations in metabolic pathways such as glycolysis, respiration, the tricarboxylic acid (TCA) cycle, oxidative phosphorylation, lipid metabolism, and amino acid metabolism. Metabolites like peptides, nucleotides, products of glycolysis, the TCA cycle, fatty acids, and steroids can be an important read out of disease when characterized in biological samples such as tissues and body fluids like urine, serum, etc. The cancer metabolome has been studied since the 1960s by analytical techniques such as mass spectrometry (MS) and nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) spectroscopy. Current research is focused on the identification and validation of biomarkers in the cancer metabolome that can stratify high-risk patients and distinguish between benign and advanced metastatic forms of the disease. In this review, we discuss the current state of prostate cancer metabolomics, the biomarkers that show promise in distinguishing indolent from aggressive forms of the disease, the strengths and limitations of the analytical techniques being employed, and future applications of metabolomics in diagnostic imaging and personalized medicine of prostate cancer.