Research Article

Circulating miRNA-21 and miRNA-23a Expression Signature as Potential Biomarkers for Early Detection of Non-Small-Cell Lung Cancer

Author(s): Helal Fouad Hetta*, Asmaa Mohammad Zahran, Engy A. Shafik, Reham I. El-Mahdy, Nahed A. Mohamed, Emad Eldin Nabil, Hend M. Esmaeel, Ola A. Alkady, Azza Elkady, Dina A. Mohareb, Amal Hosni, Mohammed Mahmoud Mostafa and Abeer Elkady

Volume 8 , Issue 3 , 2019

Page: [206 - 215] Pages: 10

DOI: 10.2174/1573399815666190115151500

Price: $65


Background and Aim: Lung Cancer (LC) is a major cancer killer worldwide, and 5-yr survival is extremely poor (≤15%), accentuating the need for more effective diagnostic and therapeutic strategies. Studies have shown cell-free microRNAs (miRNAs) circulating in the serum and plasma with specific expression in cancer, indicating the potential of using miRNAs as biomarkers for cancer diagnosis and therapy. This study aimed to identify differentially-expressed two miRNAs in the plasma of Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer (NSCLC) patients that might be a clinically useful tool for lung cancer early detection. miRNA-21 is one of the most abundant oncomirs. miRNA-23a functions as an oncogene in several human cancers, however, its clinical value has not been investigated in NSCLC.

Materials and Methods: A case-control study was conducted in Assiut University Hospital, Egypt, from 2017 to 2018. Plasma samples were obtained from 45 NSCLC patients. The expression level of miR-21 and miRNA-23a was detected by qRT-PCR and compared to 40 healthy control subjects. The relation between both miRNAs and clinicopathological parameters was evaluated.

Results: The expression level of miR-21 and miRNA-23a was significantly up-regulated (36.9 ± 18.7 vs. 1.12 ± 0.84 and 24.7 ± 19.09 vs. 1.16 ± 0.45) in NSCLC compared to matched controls (P<0.0001each). There was a significant difference in the level of plasma miRNA-21 and miRNA- 23a expression between the different grades of the disease (P = 0.032 and P = 0.001, respectively). The plasma miRNA-21 and miRNA-23a levels in the lung cancer patients with distant metastasis (n = 20) were significantly higher than those in the patients without metastasis (n = 25) (P<0.0001 each), the expression of miR-21 and miRNA-23a was significantly associated with tumor size (P = 0.001, P = 0.0001, respectively), but not significantly related to lymph node metastasis (P = 0.687 and 0.696, respectively). A positive correlation was observed between miRNA-21 and miRNA-23a (r = 0.784, P<0.01), There was no significant difference in the plasma miRNA-21 and miRNA-23a levels in the lung cancer patients with different histopathological types.

Conclusion: miR-21 and miR-23a might play an oncogenic role in LC and is a poor prognostic factor. Switching off miRNA-21 and miRNA-23a may improve the treatment of LC. Our results must be verified by large-scale prospective studies with standardized methodology.

Keywords: Biomarkers, early detection, miR-21, miR-23a, non-small-cell lung cancer, tumor.

Graphical Abstract
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