Using arterial–venous analysis to characterize cancer metabolic consumption in patients

Nanxiang Xiong, Xiaofei Gao, Hongyang Zhao, Feng Cai, Fang cheng Zhang, Ye Yuan, Weichao Liu, Fangping He, Lauren G. Zacharias, Hong Lin, Hieu S. Vu, Chao Xing, Dong Xiao Yao, Fei Chen, Benyan Luo, Wenzhi Sun, Ralph J. DeBerardinis, Hao Xu, Woo ping Ge

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

21 Scopus citations


Understanding tumor metabolism holds the promise of new insights into cancer biology, diagnosis and treatment. To assess human cancer metabolism, here we report a method to collect intra-operative samples of blood from an artery directly upstream and a vein directly downstream of a brain tumor, as well as samples from dorsal pedal veins of the same patients. After performing targeted metabolomic analysis, we characterize the metabolites consumed and produced by gliomas in vivo by comparing the arterial supply and venous drainage. N-acetylornithine, D-glucose, putrescine, and L-acetylcarnitine are consumed in relatively large amounts by gliomas. Conversely, L-glutamine, agmatine, and uridine 5-monophosphate are produced in relatively large amounts by gliomas. Further we verify that D-2-hydroxyglutarate (D-2HG) is high in venous plasma from patients with isocitrate dehydrogenases1 (IDH1) mutations. Through these paired comparisons, we can exclude the interpatient variation that is present in plasma samples usually taken from the cubital vein.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number3169
JournalNature communications
Issue number1
StatePublished - Dec 1 2020

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Chemistry
  • General Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology
  • General Physics and Astronomy


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