BIOL 3095 October 14, 2011. Seminar Reflection #3: “Early detection of recurrent breast cancer using metabolite profiling.” By: Angélica M. González Sánchez Student number: 804-11-3354 On the seminar presented by the Ph.D. candidate Mrs. Leiddy Alvarado, she reported usabout one of her researches on breast cancer. Its main objective was to find metabolites whichcould function as biomarkers to detect recurrent breast cancer earlier. Actually there are severalmethods to keep a regular observation on cancer, but they lack sensitivity and specificity,meaning that they are not certain enough to give precise positives. Because of these limitations,scientists as Mrs. Alvarado are working on finding more effective surveillance techniques suchas metabolite profiling. This technique gives information about the cell structure by studying itsmetabolites, which are the products of the chemical reactions of the cell. To perform this, bloodsamples from patients with recurrence of breast cancer and from those who haven’t showedrecurrence were examined using several techniques from analytical chemistry, such as nuclearmagnetic resonance (NMR) and two-dimensional gas chromatography-mass spectrometry(GC×GC-MS). These techniques collected very quantitative and specific data on the masses ofvery small molecules, such as metabolites. Then, the obtained data was processed by severalstatistical analysis methods which lastly resulted on the identification of 11potential metabolitebiomarkers for recurrent breast cancer, which still need to be validated. This seminar’s topic is significantly relevant to our society because of the implications itwill have on the no-invasive and early detection of breast cancer, a condition which recurrencehas increased severely on the last decades. It is also pertinent because of its possible applicationsin the search for metabolite biomarkers for other cancers. Because of this, and for all the newconcepts learned, I think that this seminar was quite didactical and remarkable.