Copyright ©The Author(s) 2024. Published by Baishideng Publishing Group Inc. All rights reserved.
World J Gastrointest Oncol. Feb 15, 2024; 16(2): 527-542
Published online Feb 15, 2024. doi: 10.4251/wjgo.v16.i2.527
Global research trends and prospects of cellular metabolism in colorectal cancer
Yan-Chen Liu, Zhi-Cheng Gong, Chao-Qun Li, Peng Teng, Yan-Yan Chen, Zhao-Hui Huang
Yan-Chen Liu, Zhi-Cheng Gong, Chao-Qun Li, Peng Teng, Zhao-Hui Huang, Wuxi Cancer Institute, Affiliated Hospital of Jiangnan University, Wuxi 214122, Jiangsu Province, China
Yan-Chen Liu, Peng Teng, Zhao-Hui Huang, Wuxi School of Medicine, Jiangnan University, Wuxi 214122, Jiangsu Province, China
Yan-Yan Chen, Wuxi Institute of Integrated Chinese and Western Medicine, Affiliated Hospital of Jiangnan University, Wuxi 214062, Jiangsu Province, China
Co-corresponding authors: Zhao-Hui Huang and Yan-Yan Chen.
Author contributions: Huang ZH and Chen YY determined the direction of this research; Liu YC analyzed data and wrote the draft; Huang ZH, Chen YY, Gong ZC, Li CQ and Teng P revised and checked the article.
Supported by National Natural Science Foundation of China, No. 82173063 and No. 81972220; Wuxi Taihu Lake Talent Plan Supporting for Leading Talents in Medical and Health Profession; Wuxi Medical Key Discipline, No. ZDXK2021002; China Postdoctoral Science Foundation, No. 2022M711370; Postgraduate Research & Practice Innovation Program of Jiangsu Province, No. KYCX23_2573.
Conflict-of-interest statement: The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.
PRISMA 2009 Checklist statement: The authors have read the PRISMA 2009 Checklist, and the manuscript was prepared and revised in accordance with this checklist.
Open-Access: This article is an open-access article that was selected by an in-house editor and fully peer-reviewed by external reviewers. It is distributed in accordance with the Creative Commons Attribution NonCommercial (CC BY-NC 4.0) license, which permits others to distribute, remix, adapt, build upon this work non-commercially, and license their derivative works on different terms, provided the original work is properly cited and the use is non-commercial. See:
Corresponding author: Zhao-Hui Huang, PhD, Professor, Wuxi Cancer Institute, Affiliated Hospital of Jiangnan University, No. 200 Huihe Road, Wuxi 214062, Jiangsu Province, China.
Received: November 13, 2023
Peer-review started: November 13, 2023
First decision: December 15, 2023
Revised: December 19, 2023
Accepted: January 5, 2024
Article in press: January 5, 2024
Published online: February 15, 2024

An increasing number of studies have focused on the role of cellular metabolism in the development of colorectal cancer (CRC). However, no work is currently available to synthesize the field through bibliometrics.


To analyze the development in the field of “glucose metabolism” (GM), “amino acid metabolism” (AM), “lipid metabolism” (LM), and “nucleotide metabolism” (NM) in CRC by visualization.


Articles within the abovementioned areas of GM, AM, LM and NM in CRC, which were published from January 1, 1991, to December 31, 2022, are retrieved from the Web of Science Core Collection and analyzed by CiteSpace 6.2.R4 and VOSviewer 1.6.19.


The field of LM in CRC presented the largest number of annual publications and the fastest increase in the last decade compared with the other three fields. Meanwhile, China and the United States were two of the most prominent contributors in these four areas. In addition, Gang Wang, Wei Jia, Maria Notarnicola, and Cornelia Ulrich ranked first in publication numbers, while Jing-Yuan Fang, Senji Hirasawa, Wei Jia, and Charles Fuchs were the most cited authors on average in these four fields, respectively. “Gut microbiota” and “epithelial-mesenchymal transition” emerged as the newest burst words in GM, “gut microbiota” was the latest outburst word in AM, “metastasis”, “tumor microenvironment”, “fatty acid metabolism”, and “metabolic reprogramming” were the up-to-date outbreaking words in LM, while “epithelial-mesenchymal transition” and “apoptosis” were the most recently occurring words in NM.


Research in “cellular metabolism in CRC” is all the rage at the moment, and researchers are particularly interested in exploring the mechanism to explain the metabolic alterations in CRC. Targeting metabolic vulnerability appears to be a promising direction in CRC therapy.

Keywords: Cellular metabolism, Colorectal cancer, Glucose metabolism, Amino acid metabolism, Lipid metabolism, Nucleotide metabolism

Core Tip: This paper performs a bibliometric analysis of the articles in the field of cellular metabolism in colorectal cancer (CRC). In detail, we first analyze the development and current status of this area, and finally explore the future development trend. In addition, we also summarize some hot topics on cellular metabolism in CRC, which will help researchers identify potential future research directions.