Plasma choline-containing phospholipids: Potential biomarkers for colorectal cancer progression

Song Li, Bin Guo, Jianwen Song, Xiaoli Deng, Yusheng Cong, Pengfei Li, Ke Zhao, Lihong Liu, Gang Xiao, Feng Xu, Yingjiang Ye, Zhenwen Zhao, Menggang Yu, Yan Xu, Jianli Sang, Junjie Zhang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

11 Scopus citations


Colorectal cancer (CRC) is believed to progress through the adenoma-carcinoma sequence. The adenoma-carcinoma transition is an important window for early detection and intervention of CRC. In the present study, plasma samples from patients with CRC (n = 120), patients with adenomatous polyps (AP) (n = 120), and healthy controls (n = 120) were collected. Plasma phospholipid levels were analyzed with liquid chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry. It was found that the plasma levels of major lysophosphatidylcholine (LPC) species were gradationally decreased from healthy controls, AP to CRC subjects. A formula including total saturated LPCs, 18:2 LPC and sphingosylphosphorylcholine (SPC) yielded a sensitivity and specificity of 88. 3 and 80 % for separating CRC from healthy controls. An optimized model with total saturated LPCs, 20:4 LPC and sphingomyelins (SM) as markers yielded a sensitivity and specificity of 89 and 80 % for separating AP from the healthy controls. Moreover, with SM, SPC and saturated LPCs as markers, a model was made to separate CRC from AP with the sensitivity and specificity of 90 and 92. 5 %, respectively. These data indicate that the plasma choline-containing phospholipid levels represent potential biomarkers to distinguish between healthy controls, AP and CRC cases, implying their clinical usage in CRC and/or AP-CRC progression detection.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)202-212
Number of pages11
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1 2013


  • Adenomatous polyps
  • Biomarkers
  • Colorectal cancer
  • Mass spectrometry
  • Phospholipids

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Clinical Biochemistry
  • Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism

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  • Cite this

    Li, S., Guo, B., Song, J., Deng, X., Cong, Y., Li, P., Zhao, K., Liu, L., Xiao, G., Xu, F., Ye, Y., Zhao, Z., Yu, M., Xu, Y., Sang, J., & Zhang, J. (2013). Plasma choline-containing phospholipids: Potential biomarkers for colorectal cancer progression. Metabolomics, 9(1), 202-212.