Jump to main content
Jump to site search
Access to RSC content Close the message box

Continue to access RSC content when you are not at your institution. Follow our step-by-step guide.

Issue 5, 2020
Previous Article Next Article

Urine metallomics signature as an indicator of pancreatic cancer

Author affiliations


Pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma (PDAC) is one of the deadliest types of cancer. Its high mortality rate is attributed largely to the difficulty of early diagnosis. Analysis of urine is an excellent non-invasive approach to trace changes in biochemical reactions due to cancer development. Here we show remarkable differences in concentration of several essential metals: significantly lower levels of urinary calcium and magnesium and increased levels of copper and zinc in PDAC when compared to healthy controls, and demonstrate that a combined analysis of these essential metals are accurate indicators (sensitivity = 99.5%) for metal dyshomeostasis in PDAC. In addition, natural stable zinc isotope composition (δ66/64Zn) in urine reveals the preferential excretion of isotopically light zinc in PDAC (δ66/64Znmedian = −0.15‰) compared to healthy controls (δ66/64Znmedian = +0.02‰), likely supporting the dysregulation of metalloproteins. These findings demonstrate for the first time that metallomics is a promising approach for discovery of biomarkers for detection of patients with PDAC, completely non-invasively, using urine samples.

Graphical abstract: Urine metallomics signature as an indicator of pancreatic cancer

Back to tab navigation

Supplementary files

Article information

10 Mar 2020
18 Mar 2020
First published
18 Mar 2020

Metallomics, 2020,12, 752-757
Article type

Urine metallomics signature as an indicator of pancreatic cancer

K. Schilling, F. Larner, A. Saad, R. Roberts, H. M. Kocher, O. Blyuss, A. N. Halliday and T. Crnogorac-Jurcevic, Metallomics, 2020, 12, 752
DOI: 10.1039/D0MT00061B

Social activity

Search articles by author