Back to Archived Journals » Current Biomarker Findings » Volume 8

Urine volatile organic compounds composition in mice bearing breast and melanoma tumors: effect of low-protein diet

Authors Gopas J, Abd EL Qader A, Isaacson C, Eichler D, Zeiri Y

Received 20 December 2017

Accepted for publication 2 May 2018

Published 19 July 2018 Volume 2018:8 Pages 1—13


Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single-blind

Peer reviewer comments 2

Editor who approved publication: Dr Hung Khong

Jacob Gopas,1,2 Amir Abd EL Qader,3 Carol Isaacson,4 David Eichler,5 Yehuda Zeiri3,6

1The Shraga Segal Department of Microbiology, Immunology and Genetics, Ben-Gurion University of the Negev, 2The Department of Oncology, Soroka University Medical Center, Beer-Sheva, Israel; 3Biomedical Engineering, Ben-Gurion University, Beer-Sheva, Israel; 4Jerry J. Cohen Radiobiology Research Laboratory, Ben Gurion University, Beer Sheva, Israel; 5Physics Department, Ben-Gurion University, Beer-Sheva, Israel; 6Chemistry Division, Nuclear Research Center Negev, Beer-Sheva, Israel

Background: Volatile organic compounds (VOCs) in urine may provide information about biomarkers of tumors in their early stages and about tumor growth.
Methods: This study demonstrates that the effect of low protein diet on the pattern of VOCs in the urine of healthy and cancer bearing mice is significant. 
Results: Pentanal, found in nine out of the ten breast cancer-bearing mice on a high protein (HP) diet, was not found in any of the cancer bearing mice under a low protein (LP) diet, even after tumor development. In addition, the concentration of 3-heptanone, also elevated in the HP group, was not found in the LP group. Benzoic acid, 4-ethoxy-, ethyl ester, 2-pentanone, and propane, 1-isothiocyanato-3-(methylthio), all associated with anti-cancer properties or activity, were observed in the LP group, but not in the HP group. 6-methyl-3-heptanone exhibited a marked increase in concentration as a function of tumor growth when mice were maintained on an HP diet; however, its concentration exhibited no change in mice on the LP diet. The LP group showed much better survival, and even spontaneous recovery from cancer.
Conclusion: Our results give an insight into the effects of an LP diet on the management of breast cancer and melanoma. While other research groups focus on improving the relative rates of efficacy and accuracy of cancer biopsy results, this study attempted to monitor the initial appearance of cancer by VOCs excreted in urine that may be associated with metabolic and other physiological changes associated with tumor development, and with a diet that inhibits such development.

Keywords: mouse urine composition, breast cancer, melanoma, cancer biomarkers, low protein diet

Creative Commons License This work is published and licensed by Dove Medical Press Limited. The full terms of this license are available at and incorporate the Creative Commons Attribution - Non Commercial (unported, v3.0) License. By accessing the work you hereby accept the Terms. Non-commercial uses of the work are permitted without any further permission from Dove Medical Press Limited, provided the work is properly attributed. For permission for commercial use of this work, please see paragraphs 4.2 and 5 of our Terms.

Download Article [PDF]  View Full Text [HTML][Machine readable]