Cancers (Basel) 12 (11) 3349 [2020-11-12; online 2020-11-12]
Here, we present a strategy for early molecular marker pattern detection-Subset analysis of Matched Repeated Time points (SMART)-used in a mass-spectrometry-based metabolomics study of repeated blood samples from future glioma patients and their matched controls. The outcome from SMART is a predictive time span when disease-related changes are detectable, defined by time to diagnosis and time between longitudinal sampling, and visualization of molecular marker patterns related to future disease. For glioma, we detect significant changes in metabolite levels as early as eight years before diagnosis, with longitudinal follow up within seven years. Elevated blood plasma levels of myo-inositol, cysteine, N-acetylglucosamine, creatinine, glycine, proline, erythronic-, 4-hydroxyphenylacetic-, uric-, and aceturic acid were particularly evident in glioma cases. We use data simulation to ensure non-random events and a separate data set for biomarker validation. The latent biomarker, consisting of 15 interlinked and significantly altered metabolites, shows a strong correlation to oxidative metabolism, glutathione biosynthesis and monosaccharide metabolism, linked to known early events in tumor development. This study highlights the benefits of progression pattern analysis and provide a tool for the discovery of early markers of disease.