Application of metabolomics in drug resistant breast cancer research

Ayesha N. Shajahan-Haq, Mehar S. Cheema, Robert Clarke

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

46 Scopus citations


The metabolic profiles of breast cancer cells are different from normal mammary epithelial cells. Breast cancer cells that gain resistance to therapeutic interventions can reprogram their endogenous metabolism in order to adapt and proliferate despite high oxidative stress and hypoxic conditions. Drug resistance in breast cancer, regardless of subgroups, is a major clinical setback. Although recent advances in genomics and proteomics research has given us a glimpse into the heterogeneity that exists even within subgroups, the ability to precisely predict a tumor’s response to therapy remains elusive. Metabolomics as a quantitative, high through put technology offers promise towards devising new strategies to establish predictive, diagnostic and prognostic markers of breast cancer. Along with other “omics” technologies that include genomics, transcriptomics, and proteomics, metabolomics fits into the puzzle of a comprehensive systems biology approach to understand drug resistance in breast cancer. In this review, we highlight the challenges facing successful therapeutic treatment of breast cancer and the innovative approaches that metabolomics offers to better understand drug resistance in cancer.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)100-118
Number of pages19
Issue number1
StatePublished - Feb 16 2015
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2015 by the authors; licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland.


  • Breast cancer
  • Cell death
  • Cellular metabolism
  • Drug resistance
  • Metabolomics


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