In situ profiling reveals metabolic alterations in the tumor microenvironment of ovarian cancer after chemotherapy

Sara Corvigno, Sunil Badal, Meredith L. Spradlin, Michael Keating, Igor Pereira, Elaine Stur, Emine Bayraktar, Katherine I. Foster, Nicholas W. Bateman, Waleed Barakat, Kathleen M. Darcy, Thomas P. Conrads, G. Larry Maxwell, Philip L. Lorenzi, Susan K. Lutgendorf, Yunfei Wen, Li Zhao, Premal H. Thaker, Michael J. Goodheart, Jinsong LiuNicole Fleming, Sanghoon Lee, Livia S. Eberlin*, Anil K. Sood*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


In this study, we investigated the metabolic alterations associated with clinical response to chemotherapy in patients with ovarian cancer. Pre- and post-neoadjuvant chemotherapy (NACT) tissues from patients with high-grade serous ovarian cancer (HGSC) who had poor response (PR) or excellent response (ER) to NACT were examined. Desorption electrospray ionization mass spectrometry (DESI-MS) was performed on sections of HGSC tissues collected according to a rigorous laparoscopic triage algorithm. Quantitative MS-based proteomics and phosphoproteomics were performed on a subgroup of pre-NACT samples. Highly abundant metabolites in the pre-NACT PR tumors were related to pyrimidine metabolism in the epithelial regions and oxygen-dependent proline hydroxylation of hypoxia-inducible factor alpha in the stromal regions. Metabolites more abundant in the epithelial regions of post-NACT PR tumors were involved in the metabolism of nucleotides, and metabolites more abundant in the stromal regions of post-NACT PR tumors were related to aspartate and asparagine metabolism, phenylalanine and tyrosine metabolism, nucleotide biosynthesis, and the urea cycle. A predictive model built on ions with differential abundances allowed the classification of patients’ tumor responses as ER or PR with 75% accuracy (10-fold cross-validation ridge regression model). These findings offer new insights related to differential responses to chemotherapy and could lead to novel actionable targets.

Original languageEnglish
Article number115
Journalnpj Precision Oncology
Issue number1
StatePublished - Dec 2023
Externally publishedYes


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