Tariq Shah1, Marie-France Penet1, Yelena Mironchik1, Flonn Wildes1, Anirban Maitra2, Zaver M. Bhujwalla1
1Division of Cancer Imaging Research, Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, MD, United States; 2Pathology, Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, MD, United States
Pancreatic cancer is an aggressive disease that develops in a relatively symptom-free manner and is usually advanced at the time of diagnosis. There is an urgent need of biomarkers for early diagnosis with enough sensitivity and specificity to help diagnose pancreatic cancer. In this study, we have used 1H MRS to characterize the metabolic profile of a panel of pancreatic cancer cells. Immortalized pancreatic cells were used for comparison. While elevated choline containing compounds were present in all adenocarcinomas relative to immortalized pancreatic cells, differences were also observed within the adenocarcinoma cell lines. The altered choline phospholipid metabolism could be used for non-invasive diagnosis and staging of pancreatic cancer using 1H MRS. The aberrant choline metabolism may also provide novel targets in the treatment of pancreatic cancer.