Altered urinary polyamine patterns of cancer patients under acupuncture therapy (ECM)

July 29, 2008

© Springer-Verlag

by j. Paik • D. Kuon • j. Cho • K.-R. Kim


The reduction of elevated polyamine (PA) levels in biological fluids of cancer patients were known to be correlated with remission following diverse therapeutic treatments. In this study, altered urinary PA levels from three different cancer cases were monitored at different intervals during the long-term weekday acupuncture treatments. Nine urinary PA levels from 16 normal and three cancer patients with different types were measured by gas chromatography-mass spectrometry in selected ion monitoring mode as N-ethoxycarbonyl-N-pentafluoropropionyl derivatives. Their levels measured at three follow-up stages for each patient were then normalized to the corresponding normal group means and plotted into star symbol patterns. Large alterations of PA levels were observed for each patient. Each normalized concentration displayed elevation of the PA levels in multiples (0.0-57.7) of the respective normal mean values. The normalized PA values were transformed into distorted star patterns which were characteristic of each follow-up stage and of cancer type.

Normalization and star pattern recognition

When the PA levels in each follow-up stage were normalized to the corresponding normal mean values, each normalized concentration displayed elevation of the PA levels in multiples (ranging fix)m 0.0 to 57.7) of the respective normal mean values (Table 3). These normal-ized values were used as the variables to draw star graphs composed of nine rays. The differences between patients and normal group average were more clearly represented in the visual star patterns (Figs. 1, 2, 3) as compared to the numeric data (Table 3). As expected, the patient star patterns (Case 1-Case 3) were badly distorted. The nonagon shape of normal group average served well as the reference pattern for distinguishing the characteristic star shape of each cancer patient. And the abrupt alterations in the urinary PA levels from the first follow-up stage to third stage for each cancer patient during acupuncture therapy were readily perceived from the visual star graphic patterns. In Case 1 (Fig. 1), all rays of the third follow-up stage were within the normal pattern except for N-acetylspermidine (ray no. 5). In the third follow-up stage of Case 2, all the rays were located inside the normal nonagon pattern except that putrescine (ray no. 3) slightly protruded out (Fig. 2). In Case 3 (Fig. 3), the normal nonagon was invisible due to cadaverine (ray no. 4) and putrescine (ray no. 3).
In conclusion, the present urinary PA profiling analysis combined with star graphic analysis appeared to be useful for monitoring metabolic changes induced by long-term acupuncture treatments in cancer.

Fig. 1 Star symbol plots of first, second and third follow-up stages for the Case 1 (rectal cancer, male, 55 years) based on the mean levels of the nine polyamines as the variables after normalization to the corresponding normal male group means. Rays 1, N -Acetylputrescine; 2, N -Acetylcada-verine; 3, Putreseine; 4, Cadaverine; 5, N - Acetylspermidine; 6, N-Acetyl-spermidine; 7, Spermidine; 8, N - Acetylspermine; 9, Spermine

Fig. 2 Star symbol plots of first, second and third follow-up stages for the Case 2 (lung cancer, female, 52 years) based on the mean levels of the nine polyamines as the variables after normalization to the corresponding normal female group means. Rays the numbers correspond to those in Fig. 1.

Fig. 3 Star symbol plots of first, second and third follow-up stages for the Case 3 (breast cancer, female, 59 years) based on the mean levels of the nine polyamines as the variables after normalization to the corresponding normal female group means. Rays the numbers correspond to those in Fig. 1.


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