Oncotarget

Research Papers:

Profiling of metastatic small intestine neuroendocrine tumors reveals characteristic miRNAs detectable in plasma

Michaela Bowden _, Chensheng W. Zhou, Sui Zhang, Lauren Brais, Ashley Rossi, Laurent Naudin, Arunthi Thiagalingam, Ewa Sicinska and Matthew H. Kulke

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Oncotarget. 2017; 8:54331-54344. https://doi.org/10.18632/oncotarget.16908

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Abstract

Michaela Bowden1, Chensheng W. Zhou1, Sui Zhang1, Lauren Brais1, Ashley Rossi1, Laurent Naudin2, Arunthi Thiagalingam3, Ewa Sicinska1 and Matthew H. Kulke1

1Department of Medical Oncology, Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, Boston, MA, USA

2IPSEN Innovation, Les Ulis, France

3IPSEN Bioscience Inc., Cambridge, MA, USA

Correspondence to:

Michaela Bowden, email: [email protected]

Keywords: SINET, microRNA, plasma

Received: November 18, 2016     Accepted: February 27, 2017     Published: April 07, 2017

ABSTRACT

Background: Current diagnostic and prognostic blood-based biomarkers for neuroendocrine tumors are limited. MiRNAs have tumor-specific expression patterns, are relatively stable, and can be measured in patient blood specimens. We performed a multi-stage study to identify and validate characteristic circulating miRNAs in patients with metastatic small intestine neuroendocrine tumors, and to assess associations between miRNA levels and survival.

Methods: Using a 742-miRNA panel, we identified candidate miRNAs similarly expressed in 19 small intestine neuroendocrine tumors and matched plasma samples. We refined our panel in an independent cohort of plasma samples from 40 patients with metastatic small intestine NET and 40 controls, and then validated this panel in a second, large cohort of 120 patients with metastatic small intestine NET and 120 independent controls.

Results: miRNA profiling of 19 matched small intestine neuroendocrine tumors and matched plasma samples revealed 31 candidate miRNAs similarly expressed in both tissue and plasma. We evaluated expression of these 31 candidate miRNAs in 40 independent cases and 40 normal controls, and identified 4 miRNAs (miR-21-5p, miR-22-3p, miR-29b-3p, and miR-150-5p) that were differently expressed in cases and controls (p<0.05). We validated these 4 miRNAs in a separate, larger panel of 120 cases and 120 controls. We confirmed that high circulating levels of miR-22-3p (p<0.0001), high levels of miR 21-5p, and low levels of miR-150-5p (p=0.027) were associated with the presence of metastatic small intestine NET. While levels of 29b-3p were lower in cases than in controls in both the initial cohort and the validation cohort, the difference in the validation cohort did not reach statistical significance. We further found that high levels of circulating miR-21-5p, high levels of circulating miR-22-3p and low levels of circulating miR-150-5p were each independently associated with shorter overall survival. A combined analysis using all three markers was highly prognostic for survival (HR 0.47, 95% CI 0.27-0.82).

Conclusions: Our study suggests that elevated circulating levels of miR-21-5p and miR-22-3p and low levels of miR-150-5p are characteristic in patients with metastatic small intestine neuroendocrine tumors, and further suggests that levels of these miRNAs are associated with overall survival. These observations provide the basis for further validation studies, as well as studies to assess the biological function of these miRNAs in small intestine neuroendocrine tumors.


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