Applications of metabolomics to study cancer metabolism

Akash K. Kaushik, Ralph J. DeBerardinis

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

120 Scopus citations


Reprogrammed metabolism supports tumor growth and provides a potential source of therapeutic targets and disease biomarkers. Mass spectrometry-based metabolomics has emerged as a broadly informative technique for profiling metabolic features associated with specific oncogenotypes, disease progression, therapeutic liabilities and other clinically relevant aspects of tumor biology. In this review, we introduce the applications of metabolomics to study deregulated metabolism and metabolic vulnerabilities in cancer. We provide examples of studies that used metabolomics to discover novel metabolic regulatory mechanisms, including processes that link metabolic alterations with gene expression, protein function, and other aspects of systems biology. Finally, we discuss emerging applications of metabolomics for in vivo isotope tracing and metabolite imaging, both of which hold promise to advance our understanding of the role of metabolic reprogramming in cancer.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2-14
Number of pages13
JournalBiochimica et Biophysica Acta - Reviews on Cancer
Issue number1
StatePublished - Aug 2018


  • And metabolite imaging
  • Cancer metabolism
  • Isotope tracing
  • Metabolic subtypes
  • Metabolomics
  • Systems biology

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Genetics
  • Cancer Research


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