Project Director

Symes, Steven

Department Examiner

Yang, Wang-Yong, 1974-


Dept. of Chemistry


University of Tennessee at Chattanooga

Place of Publication

Chattanooga (Tenn.)


Endometrial Cancer (EC) is the most common malignant tumor of the female reproductive tract. Currently there are no methods for effectively screening EC, but one method that is thought to be useful in screening EC is metabolomics. Metabolomics involves the analysis of metabolites which are low molecular weight inorganic and organic chemicals that are substrates, intermediates, and by-products of enzyme-mediated biochemical reactions in the cell. Previous research shows that the metabolic signature of EC patients are discernable from those of healthy patients. To aid in the development of an effective screening method for EC, blood serum, urine, and saliva samples of EC patients and controls enrolled in a clinical trial at the University of Tennessee College of Medicine at Chattanooga Department of Gynecological Oncology will be collected. For each sample, the metabolites will be extracted, purified, and derivatized before gas chromatography-mass spectrometry (GC-MS) analysis. Chromatographic separation will use a Trace1310 GC system equipped with a TG-5MS column interfaced with ion trap mass spectrometry. The obtained signatures will be used in an effort to build multivariate classification models that can distinguish EC patients from healthy patients, providing a non-invasive, affordable screening test for EC. Prior to the analysis of clinical samples, the entire method will be optimized for all sample types to ensure that the method will be able to provide the data necessary for developing a screening system. The initial phases of method development indicate that the proposed method will be sufficient for collecting metabolomic data, but more optimization is required before clinical samples may be analyzed.


Dr. Steven Symes, UTC Department of Chemistry and Physics; Dr. Jacopo Troisi, Theoreo Srl and the University of Salerno Department of Medicine, Surgery and Dentistry “Scuola Medica Salernitana”; Dr. Stephen DePasquale and the University of Tennessee College of Medicine – Chattanooga (UTCOM-C) Division of Gynecological Oncology; Dr. Sean Richards, UTC Department of Biology, Geology and Environmental Science; Grote Endowment; SEARCH Award


B. S.; An honors thesis submitted to the faculty of the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga in partial fulfillment of the requirements of the degree of Bachelor of Science.




Biochemical markers; Endometrium--Cancer--Diagnosis; Medical screening


Biomarker; Endometrial Cancer; Gas Chromatography; Ion Trap Mass Spectrometry; Metabolomics; Method Development


Pathogenic Microbiology

Document Type



[i], 34 leaves