International Journal of Molecular Sciences, Vol.14, No.1, 2104-2118, 2013
Metabolic Profiles of Brain Metastases
Metastasis to the brain is a feared complication of systemic cancer, associated with significant morbidity and poor prognosis. A better understanding of the tumor metabolism might help us meet the challenges in controlling brain metastases. The study aims to characterize the metabolic profile of brain metastases of different origin using high resolution magic angle spinning (HR-MAS) magnetic resonance spectroscopy (MRS) to correlate the metabolic profiles to clinical and pathological information. Biopsy samples of human brain metastases (n = 49) were investigated. A significant correlation between lipid signals and necrosis in brain metastases was observed (p < 0.01), irrespective of their primary origin. The principal component analysis (PCA) showed that brain metastases from malignant melanomas cluster together, while lung carcinomas were metabolically heterogeneous and overlap with other subtypes. Metastatic melanomas have higher amounts of glycerophosphocholine than other brain metastases. A significant correlation between microscopically visible lipid droplets estimated by Nile Red staining and MR visible lipid signals was observed in metastatic lung carcinomas (p = 0.01), indicating that the proton MR visible lipid signals arise from cytoplasmic lipid droplets. MRS-based metabolomic profiling is a useful tool for exploring the metabolic profiles of metastatic brain tumors.