The difference in serum phospholipid content between stage-IV breast cancer patients and diseasefree individuals was studied by employing a combination of chemometric statistical analysis tools and mass spectrometry. Chloroform-extracted serum samples were profiled for their lipid class composition and structure using precursor ion, neutral loss, and product ion tandem mass spectrometric (MS/MS) scanning experiments. Changes in the relative abundance of phospholipids in serum as a consequence of cancer progression, measured through electrospray ionization (ESI) mass spectrometry of flow-injected serum samples collected from 25 disease-free individuals and 50 patients diagnosed with stage-IV breast cancer, were statistically evaluated using principal component analysis (PCA), analysis of variance (ANOVA) and receiver operating characteristic (ROC) analysis. Lipids whose abundance changed significantly as a consequence of cancer progression were structurally characterized using product ion spectra, and independently quantified using precursor ion scan experiments against an internal standard of known concentration. Phosphocholine lipids that displayed a statistically significant change as a consequence of cancer progression were found to contain an oxidized fatty acid moiety as determined by MS 3 experiments.