NMR-Based Metabolomic Profiling of Urine: Evaluation for Application in Prostate Cancer Detection

Detection of prostate cancer (PCa) and distinguishing indolent versus aggressive forms of the disease is a critical clinical challenge. The current clinical test is circulating prostate-specific antigen levels, which faces particular challenges in cancer diagnosis in the range of 4 to 10 ng/mL. Thus, a concerted effort toward building a noninvasive biomarker panel has developed. In this report, the hypothesis that nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR)-derived metabolomic profiles measured in the urine of biopsy-negative versus biopsy-positive individuals would nominate a selection of potential biomarker signals was investigated. 1H NMR spectra of urine samples from 317 individuals (111 biopsy-negative, 206 biopsy-positive) were analyzed. A double cross-validation partial least squares-discriminant analysis modeling technique was utilized to nominate signals capable of distinguishing the two classes. It was observed that after variable selection protocols were applied, a subset of 29 variables produced an area under the curve (AUC) value of 0.94 after logistic regression analysis, whereas a “master list” of 18 variables produced a receiver operating characteristic ROC) AUC of 0.80. As proof of principle, this study demonstrates the utility of NMR-based metabolomic profiling of urine biospecimens in the nomination of PCa-specific biomarker signals and suggests that further investigation is certainly warranted.