The lab was the first to demonstrate that LPA is a potential marker for the early detection of ovarian cancer and lysophosphatidylcholine (LPC) is a useful marker for colorectal and other cancers. EOC is the most deadly gynecologic disease, mainly due to the lack of highly sensitive and specific methods for early detection and effective treatments for late-stage and recurrent diseases.
In addition, the lab has demonstrated that the enzymatic activities of several phospholipase A2s, critical enzymes regulating the levels of LPC and LPA, are markers for colorectal cancer (CRC), lung, bladder, and pancreatic cancers. The development of early detection markers for EOC and other cancers has the potential to save many lives. Our findings have been confirmed by independent and blinded studies internationally. The group has also developed highly effective electrospray ionization mass spectrometry (ESI-MS)-based lipid analysis and simplified lipid extraction methods to analyze lysophospholipid levels in biological fluids (such as blood, ascites, peritoneal washings, urine, cells, and cell supernatants). These methods are highly sensitive, quantitative and reproducible.
The lab has significantly contributed to the lipidomic field and has published many individual and collaborative papers using this cutting-edge technology. More than 10 papers published around the world have confirmed that blood LPA is a marker for EOC, including PMID: 19051824 and two very recent papers published: a large-scale study including 980 OC patients, 872 benign controls and 668 healthy controls (PMID26174150), and a comparative study showing that LPA shows greater value in the diagnosis of ovarian cancer compared to CA-125 and may be employed as a biological index to diagnose ovarian cancer (PMID:26148603).
- Xu, Y., Shen, Z., Wiper, DW, Wu. M., Morton, RE., Elson, P., Kennedy, AW., Belinson, J., Markman, M. and G. Casey (1998) Lysophosphatidic acid as a potential biomarker for ovarian and other gynecologic cancers. JAMA 280(8): 719-723. PMID: 9728644.
- Sutphen R, Xu Y., Wilbanks GD, Fiorica J, Grendys EC Jr, LaPolla JP, Arango H, Hoffman MS, Martino M, Wakeley K, Griffin D, Blanco RW, Cantor AB, Xiao YJ, Krischer JP. Lysophospholipids are potential biomarkers of ovarian cancer. Cancer Epidemiol Biomarkers Prev 2004 13, 1185-1191, 2004. PMID: 15247129.
- Zhenwen Zhao, Yijin Xiao, Paul Elson, Haiyan Tan, Sarah J. Plummer, Michael Berk, Phyu P. Aung, Ian C. Lavery, Jean P. Achkar, Li Li, Graham Casey, and Xu, Y. Plasma lysophosphatidylcholine levels: potential biomarkers for colorectal cancer. J Clin Oncol. 25, 2696-701. 2007. PMID: 17602074. 2007 Jul 1.
Hui Cai, E. Gabriela Chiorean, Michael V. Chiorean, Douglas K. Rex, Bruce W. Robb, Noah M. Hahn, Ziyue Liu, Patrick J. Loehrer, Marietta L. Harrison, and Xu Y. Elevated phospholipase A2 activities in plasma samples from multiple cancers. PloSOne, 2013;8(2):e57081. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0057081. Epub 2013 Feb 22, PMID:23451150.