Ovarian tumours of different histologic type and clinical stage induce similar changes in lipid metabolism

Riikka Johanna Niemi, Elena Ioana Braicu, Hagen Kulbe, Kaisa Maria Koistinen, Jalid Sehouli, Ulla Puistola, Johanna Unelma Mäenpää, Mika Hilvo (Corresponding Author)

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

22 Citations (Scopus)


Previous results obtained from serum samples of late-stage, high-grade serous ovarian carcinoma patients showed large alterations in lipid metabolism. To validate and extend the results, we studied lipidomic changes in early-stage ovarian tumours. In addition to serous ovarian cancer, we investigated whether these changes occur in mucinous and endometrioid histological subtypes as well.

Altogether, 354 serum or plasma samples were collected from three centres, one from Germany and two from Finland. We performed lipidomic analysis of samples from patients with malignant (N = 138) or borderline (N = 25) ovarian tumours, and 191 controls with benign pathology. These results were compared to previously published data.

We found 39 lipids that showed consistent alteration both in early- and late-stage ovarian cancer patients as well as in pre- and postmenopausal women. Most of these changes were already significant at an early stage and progressed with increasing stage. Furthermore, 23 lipids showed similar alterations in all investigated histological subtypes.

Changes in lipid metabolism due to ovarian cancer occur in early-stage disease but intensify with increasing stage. These changes occur also in other histological subtypes besides high-grade serous carcinoma. Understanding lipid metabolism in ovarian cancer may lead to new therapeutic and diagnostic alternatives.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)847–854
JournalBritish Journal of Cancer
Issue number7
Publication statusPublished - 8 Oct 2018
MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed


  • Adenocarcinoma, Clear Cell/metabolism
  • Adenocarcinoma, Mucinous/metabolism
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Biomarkers, Tumor/blood
  • Carcinoma, Endometrioid/metabolism
  • Chromatography, Liquid
  • Cystadenocarcinoma, Serous/metabolism
  • Female
  • Finland
  • Germany
  • Humans
  • Lipid Metabolism
  • Middle Aged
  • Neoplasm Staging
  • Ovarian Neoplasms/metabolism
  • Postmenopause/blood
  • Premenopause/blood
  • Tandem Mass Spectrometry


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