Metabolite profiling in retinoblastoma identifies novel clinicopathological subgroups

Sarah Kohe, Marie-Anne Brundler, Helen Jenkinson, Manoj Parulekar, Martin Wilson, Andrew C Peet, Carmel M McConville

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

12 Citations (Scopus)
169 Downloads (Pure)


BACKGROUND: Tumour classification, based on histopathology or molecular pathology, is of value to predict tumour behaviour and to select appropriate treatment. In retinoblastoma, pathology information is not available at diagnosis and only exists for enucleated tumours. Alternative methods of tumour classification, using noninvasive techniques such as magnetic resonance spectroscopy, are urgently required to guide treatment decisions at the time of diagnosis.

METHODS: High-resolution magic-angle spinning magnetic resonance spectroscopy (HR-MAS MRS) was undertaken on enucleated retinoblastomas. Principal component analysis and cluster analysis of the HR-MAS MRS data was used to identify tumour subgroups. Individual metabolite concentrations were determined and were correlated with histopathological risk factors for each group.

RESULTS: Multivariate analysis identified three metabolic subgroups of retinoblastoma, with the most discriminatory metabolites being taurine, hypotaurine, total-choline and creatine. Metabolite concentrations correlated with specific histopathological features: taurine was correlated with differentiation, total-choline and phosphocholine with retrolaminar optic nerve invasion, and total lipids with necrosis.

CONCLUSIONS: We have demonstrated that a metabolite-based classification of retinoblastoma can be obtained using ex vivo magnetic resonance spectroscopy, and that the subgroups identified correlate with histopathological features. This result justifies future studies to validate the clinical relevance of these subgroups and highlights the potential of in vivo MRS as a noninvasive diagnostic tool for retinoblastoma patient stratification.British Journal of Cancer advance online publication, 8 September 2015; doi:10.1038/bjc.2015.318

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1216–1224
Number of pages9
JournalBritish Journal of Cancer
Issue number8
Early online date8 Sept 2015
Publication statusPublished - 20 Oct 2015


  • retinoblastoma
  • magnetic resonance spectroscopy
  • taurine
  • choline
  • phosphocholine


Dive into the research topics of 'Metabolite profiling in retinoblastoma identifies novel clinicopathological subgroups'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this