Research Papers:

Fibrosis-related miRNAs as serum biomarkers for pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma

Rei Suzuki _, Hiroyuki Asama, Yuichi Waragai, Tadayuki Takagi, Takuto Hikichi, Mitsuru Sugimoto, Naoki Konno, Ko Watanabe, Jun Nakamura, Hitomi Kikuchi, Yuki Sato, Shigeru Marubashi, Atsushi Masamune and Hiromasa Ohira

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Oncotarget. 2018; 9:4451-4460. https://doi.org/10.18632/oncotarget.23377

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Rei Suzuki1, Hiroyuki Asama1, Yuichi Waragai1, Tadayuki Takagi1, Takuto Hikichi2, Mitsuru Sugimoto1, Naoki Konno1, Ko Watanabe1, Jun Nakamura2, Hitomi Kikuchi2, Yuki Sato1, Shigeru Marubashi3, Atsushi Masamune4 and Hiromasa Ohira1

1Department of Gastroenterology, Fukushima Medical University School of Medicine, Fukushima, Japan

2Department of Endoscopy, Fukushima Medical University Hospital, Fukushima, Japan

3Department of Hepato-Biliary-Pancreatic and Transplant Surgery, Fukushima Medical University School of Medicine, Fukushima, Japan

4Division of Gastroenterology, Tohoku University Graduate School of Medicine, Sendai, Japan

Correspondence to:

Rei Suzuki, email: [email protected]

Keywords: Pancreatic cancer; microRNA; fibrosis; digital PCR; chemotherapy

Received: May 24, 2017     Accepted: November 29, 2017     Published: December 17, 2017


We investigated whether serum microRNAs (miRNAs) could be diagnostic or prognostic markers in pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma (PDAC). We first identified miRNAs showing altered expression in human pancreatic stellate cells (hPSCs) co-cultured with PDAC cells (Panc-1 and BxPC-3) as compared to hPSCs cultured alone. Among the miRNAs with altered expression, let-7d exhibited reduced expression in an in silico analysis of The Cancer Genome Atlas data. Inhibition of let-7d resulted in enhanced expression of fibrosis-related genes. We extracted serum miRNA from 45 PDAC patients and 42 healthy controls and quantified expression let-7d using digital PCR. Based on the level of let-7d expression, we were able to distinguish between PDAC patients and controls. Additionally, reduced let-7d expression correlated with poor overall survival. Thus, fibrosis-related miRNAs may be serum biomarkers for PDAC.

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