Cancer Manag Res 2020 7;12:871-879. Epub 2020 Feb 7.
Department of Medical Biochemistry, Cerrahpasa Faculty of Medicine, Istanbul University-Cerrahpasa, Istanbul, Turkey.
Objective: Screening approaches using microRNAs (miRNAs) have been gaining increased attention owing to their potential applications in the diagnosis, prognosis, and monitoring of cancer, because aberrant miRNA expression plays a role in the development and advancement of malignancies. The objectives of this study were to characterize mir21, miR31, mir143, mir145, and control RNU43, which are differentially expressed in peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMCs) of breast and colorectal cancer patients, compared to that in controls and to establish whether this is specific to breast and colon cancer for use as tumor markers.
Methods: Thirty newly diagnosed patients with breast cancer and 30 patients with colorectal cancer were enrolled together with 30 healthy controls. PBMCs were isolated from venous blood samples of individuals. Next, miRNA expression analysis was performed by a two-step method of reverse transcription and qPCR.
Results: The expression levels of miR-143 and miR-31 were significantly decreased, whereas the expression levels of miR-145 and miR-21 were significantly increased in breast cancer patients compared to those in healthy subjects. Moreover, the expression levels of miR-143, miR-145, and miR-21 were significantly increased and, in contrast, the changes in the expression levels of miR-31 were not statistically significant in colon cancer compared to those in healthy subjects. miR-21 exhibited the highest increase in both breast and colon cancers. There was a weak positive correlation between miR-145 and CA-15.3 in patients with breast cancer (r = 0.451; p = 0.012). miR-143 was positively correlated with the TNM stage in colon cancer patients (r = 0.568; p = 0.001).
Conclusion: A biomarker panel composed of miR-21, miR-31, miR-143, and miR-145 in PBMC may provide a new diagnostic approach for the early detection of breast and colon cancer. As miR-21 expression was found to be the highest among all the miRNAs evaluated, it may represent a new tumor biomarker and a candidate therapeutic drug or gene target in colon and breast cancer.