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Simple Method for Screening Neuroendocrine Tumours

23 October 2014

A simplified method for screening metanephrine and normetanephrine proves as effective as the current gold standard. It is anticipated that this time-saving and sensitive SPE-LC-ESI-MS/MS method will have significant impact in population screening strategies.


This study details a “load, wash, elute” weak cation exchange solid phase extraction procedure for metanephrine screening (a widely used clinical assay), amenable to both plasma and urine samples. A split sample study was performed to compare the candidate procedure with the current reference method (in use at the Mayo Clinic, Rochester, MN). The data from this study compared well with results generated by the reference method at the Mayo Clinic.

Adrenal neuroendocrine tumors, known as pheochromocytomas, induce excessive production of catecholamines in mammalian blood and urine. The salient metabolites - metanephrine and normetanephrine - are routinely screened as biomarkers for this condition in both matrices. The bottleneck of these analytical methods has traditionally been laborious sample preparation as well as complex measurements, challenging for detectors that lack the required sensitivity and robustness. It is anticipated that the proposed method will have significant impact in population screening strategies.


Abstract in Clinical Chemistry, Vol. 60, No. 10, Supplement, 2014, pp 116-117 »