Tumor microRNA profile and prognostic value for lymph node metastasis in oral squamous cell carcinoma patients
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Kelly Yi Ping Liu1,2, Sarah Yuqi Zhu2, Denise Brooks3, Reanne Bowlby3, J. Scott Durham4, Yussanne Ma3, Richard A. Moore5, Andrew J. Mungall6, Steven Jones3 and Catherine F. Poh1,2
1 Department of Oral Medical and Biological Sciences, Faculty of Dentistry, University of British Columbia, Vancouver, Canada
2 Department of Integrative Oncology, BC Cancer, Vancouver, Canada
3 Bioinformatics, Canada’s Michael Smith Genome Sciences Center, Vancouver, Canada
4 Department of Surgery, Faculty of Medicine, University of British Columbia, Vancouver, Canada
5 Faculty of Health Sciences, Simon Fraser University, Burnaby, Canada
6 Biospecimen & Library Core Group, Canada’s Michael Smith Genome Sciences Center, Vancouver, Canada
|Catherine F. Poh,||email:||[email protected]|
Keywords: oral squamous cell carcinoma; lymph node metastasis; micro-RNA; primary tumor; prognosis
Received: January 15, 2020 Accepted: May 14, 2020 Published: June 09, 2020
Neck lymph node metastasis (LN+) is one of the most significant prognostic factors affecting 1-in-2 patients diagnosed with oral squamous cell carcinoma (OSCC). The different LN outcomes between clinico-pathologically similar primary tumors suggest underlying molecular signatures that could be associated with the risk of nodal disease development. MicroRNAs (miRNAs)are short non-coding molecules that regulate the expression of their target genes to maintain the balance of cellular processes. A plethora of evidence has indicated that aberrantly expressed miRNAs are involved in cancers with either an antitumor or oncogenic role. In this study, we characterized miRNA expression among OSCC fresh-frozen tumors with known outcomes of nodal disease (82 LN+, 76 LN0). We identified 49 differentially expressed miRNAs in tumors of the LN+ group. Using penalized lasso Cox regression, we identified a group of 10 miRNAs of which expression levels were highly associated with nodal-disease free survival. We further reported a 4-miRNA panel (miR-21-5p, miR-107, miR-1247-3p, and miR-181b-3p) with high accuracy in discriminating LN status, suggesting their potential application as prognostic biomarkers for nodal disease.
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