Emerging role of metabolomics in ovarian cancer diagnosis

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


Ovarian cancer is considered a silent killer due to the lack of clear symptoms and efficient diagnostic tools that often lead to late diagnoses. Over recent years, the impelling need for proficient biomarkers has led researchers to consider metabolomics, an emerging omics science that deals with analyses of the entire set of small-molecules (≤1.5 kDa) present in biological systems. Metabolomics profiles, as a mirror of tumor–host interactions, have been found to be useful for the analysis and identification of specific cancer phenotypes. Cancer may cause significant metabolic alterations to sustain its growth, and metabolomics may highlight this, making it possible to detect cancer in an early phase of development. In the last decade, metabolomics has been widely applied to identify different metabolic signatures to improve ovarian cancer diagnosis. The aim of this review is to update the current status of the metabolomics research for the discovery of new diagnostic metabolomic biomarkers for ovarian cancer. The most promising metabolic alterations are discussed in view of their potential biological implications, underlying the issues that limit their effective clinical translation into ovarian cancer diagnostic tools.

Original languageEnglish
Article number419
Pages (from-to)1-15
Number of pages15
Issue number10
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2020


  • Biomarkers
  • Diagnosis
  • Metabolomics
  • Ovarian cancer

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism
  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Biology


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