Laskut/Berlin – Researchers from Finland’s Technical Research Center VTT and the Charité Hospital in the German capital have come a step closer to a personalised diagnostic test for cancer. Matej Orešic (VTT) and Carsten Denkert (Charité) have joined forces in the European METACancer consortium. The team used lipidomics, a high-throughput method for detecting lipids, to analyse a large number of breast tumour tissues. Their study, published in Cancer Research (doi: 10.1158/0008-5472.CAN-10-3894) revealed that specific phospholipids related to cellular fatty acid synthesis were associated with cancer progression and patient survival. Follow-up in vitro studies, including gene silencing, identified several lipid metabolism genes behind the observed lipid changes in tumours.