Nowadays, cancer therapy remains limited by the conventional one-size-fits-all approach. In
this context, treatment decisions are based on the clinical stage of disease but fail to ascertain the individual
´s underlying biology and its role in driving malignancy. The identification of better therapies for
cancer treatment is thus limited by the lack of sufficient data regarding the characterization of specific
biochemical signatures associated with each particular cancer patient or group of patients. Metabolomics
approaches promise a better understanding of cancer, a disease characterized by significant alterations in
bioenergetic metabolism, by identifying changes in the pattern of metabolite expression in addition to
changes in the concentration of individual metabolites as well as alterations in biochemical pathways.
These approaches hold the potential of identifying novel biomarkers with different clinical applications,
including the development of more specific diagnostic methods based on the characterization of metabolic
subtypes, the monitoring of currently used cancer therapeutics to evaluate the response and the
prognostic outcome with a given therapy, and the evaluation of the mechanisms involved in disease relapse
and drug resistance. This review discusses metabolomics applications in different oncological
processes underlining the potential of this omics approach to further advance the implementation of precision
medicine in the oncology area.
Keywords: Precision medicine, Metabolomics, Oncology, Biomarker, NMR, PLS-DA.
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