Prognostic value of microRNA expression levels in pancreatic adenocarcinoma: a review of the literature

Patrick Wald, X. Shawn Liu, Cory Pettit, Mary Dillhoff, Andrei Manilchuk, Carl Schmidt, Evan Wuthrick, Wei Chen and Terence M. Williams _

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Oncotarget. 2017; 8:73345-73361. https://doi.org/10.18632/oncotarget.20277

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Patrick Wald1, X. Shawn Liu1, Cory Pettit1, Mary Dillhoff1, Andrei Manilchuk1, Carl Schmidt1, Evan Wuthrick1, Wei Chen1 and Terence M. Williams1

1The Ohio State University Medical Center, Arthur G. James Comprehensive Cancer Center and Richard J. Solove Research Institute, Columbus, OH 43210

Correspondence to:

Terence M. Williams, email: [email protected]

Keywords: pancreatic cancer, miRNA, non-coding RNA, chemotherapy, prognostic biomarker

Received: June 06, 2017     Accepted: July 23, 2017     Published: August 16, 2017


Background: Clinical and pathologic markers of prognosis and patterns of failure help guide clinicians in selecting patients for adjuvant therapy after surgical resection for pancreatic adenocarcinoma (PDAC). Recent studies have reported the prognostic utility of microRNA profiling in numerous malignancies. Here, we review and summarize the current literature regarding associations between microRNA expression and overall survival in PDAC patients.

Materials and Methods: We conducted a systematic search in the PubMed database to identify all primary research studies reporting prognostic associations between tumor and/or serum microRNA expression and overall survival in PDAC patients. Eligible articles were reviewed by the authors and relevant findings are summarized below.

Results: We found 53 publications that fit our search criteria. In total, 23 up-regulated and 49 down-regulated miRNAs have been associated with worse overall survival. MiR-21 is the most commonly reported miRNA, appearing in 19 publications, all of which report aberrant over-expression and association with shorter survival in PDAC. Other miRNAs that appear in multiple publications include miR-10b, -21, -34a, -155, -196a, -198, -200c, -203, -210, -218, -222, and -328. We summarize the preclinical and clinical data implicating these miRNAs in various molecular signaling pathways and cellular functions.

Conclusions: There is growing evidence that miRNA expression profiles have the potential to provide tumor-specific prognostic information to assist clinicians in more appropriately selecting patients for adjuvant therapy. These molecules are often aberrantly expressed and exhibit oncogenic and/or tumor suppressor functions in PDAC. Additional efforts to develop prognostic and predictive molecular signatures, and further elucidate miRNA mechanisms of action, are warranted.

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