Biomaterials Discovery

Analytical Chemistry 2021


Schematic of analysis process

New research published to help target therapies for brain tumours

Paediatric ependymoma is a common type of brain tumour in children. Currently, the most common treatment is the surgical removal of the tumour. However, ependymoma tends to recur in most patients. These type of tumours are known to be diverse in chemical composition, making it difficult to design a targeted therapy to prevent recurrence of the ependymoma. 

In this paper the team investigated the potential of two different analysis techniques (Orbitrap secondary ion mass spectrometry (3D OrbiSIMS) and liquid extraction surface analysis-mass spectrometry (LESA-MS)) to unravel the chemical composition of paediatric ependymoma on a tumour tissue microarray (TMA) platform.   

For the first time, a combination 3D OrbiSIMS and LESA-MS was used for chemical profiling of biological samples. Since both analysis techniques have a different working principle, it was possible to cover a wider range of metabolites than would be possible withjust one technique. Furthermore it demonstrated it is possible to annotate similar numbers of metabolites compared to standard methods whilst consuming substantial lower amounts of tumour tissue.  

Through the combination of the data acquired with both instruments and advanced statistical analysis, the team were able to identify some metabolites which showed a difference in abundance for patients in which ependymoma recurred compared to a group of patients who did not experience ependymoma recurrence. This initial data shows that there might be some potential pathways to target for further investigation concerning ependymoma recurrence and for the development of suitable therapy. Furthermore, this methodology would not be limited to ependymoma but can be used for the investigation of any other type of tumour tissue.

The full article can be read in the journal Analytical Chemistry.

Sequential Orbitrap Secondary Ion Mass Spectrometry and Liquid Extraction Surface Analysis-Tandem Mass Spectrometry-Based Metabolomics for Prediction of Brain Tumor Relapse from Sample Limited Primary Tissue Archives
Joris Meurs, David J. Scurr, Anbarasu Lourdusamy, Lisa C.D. Storer, Richard G. Grundy, Morgan R. Alexander, Ruman Rahman, and Dong-Hyun Kim
Analytical Chemistry 2021, 93, 6947−6954

Posted on Wednesday 12th May 2021

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