Mass spectrometry is a widelly employed technology for phospholipids detection and quanitation. Lipidomic analysis has proven to be usefull in breast cancer diagnosis. Specific PL profiles are usually associated with the degree of tumor malignancy. The study of brest cancer cell lines has shown correlation in phosphatidylethanolamine (PE) concentration with respect to total amount of PLs and the cell status: PE was highest in non-malignant cells while phosphatidic acid was present with highest relative abundance in metastatic cells. PE and its methabolim can so be usefull for study cancer prograssion.
An interesting overview about this argument and on PLs profile associated to cancer progression is disclosed in the follow pubblication: link.