Research Papers:

A microRNA-based prediction model for lymph node metastasis in hepatocellular carcinoma

Li Zhang _, Zuo-Lin Xiang, Zhao-Chong Zeng, Jia Fan, Zhao-You Tang and Xiao-Mei Zhao

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Oncotarget. 2016; 7:3587-3598. https://doi.org/10.18632/oncotarget.6534

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Li Zhang1,*, Zuo-Lin Xiang1,*, Zhao-Chong Zeng1, Jia Fan2, Zhao-You Tang2, Xiao-Mei Zhao1

1Department of Radiation Oncology, Zhongshan Hospital, Fudan University, Shanghai 200032, China

2Liver Cancer Institute, Zhongshan Hospital, Fudan University, Shanghai 200032, China

*These authors have contributed equally to this work

Correspondence to:

Zuo-Lin Xiang, email: [email protected]

Zhao-Chong Zeng, email: [email protected]

Keywords: hepatocellular carcinoma, lymph node metastasis, microRNA, prediction model, in situ hybridization

Received: September 09, 2015     Accepted: November 22, 2015     Published: December 09, 2015


We developed an efficient microRNA (miRNA) model that could predict the risk of lymph node metastasis (LNM) in hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC). We first evaluated a training cohort of 192 HCC patients after hepatectomy and found five LNM associated predictive factors: vascular invasion, Barcelona Clinic Liver Cancer stage, miR-145, miR-31, and miR-92a. The five statistically independent factors were used to develop a predictive model. The predictive value of the miRNA-based model was confirmed in a validation cohort of 209 consecutive HCC patients. The prediction model was scored for LNM risk from 0 to 8. The cutoff value 4 was used to distinguish high-risk and low-risk groups. The model sensitivity and specificity was 69.6 and 80.2 %, respectively, during 5 years in the validation cohort. And the area under the curve (AUC) for the miRNA-based prognostic model was 0.860. The 5-year positive and negative predictive values of the model in the validation cohort were 30.3 and 95.5 %, respectively. Cox regression analysis revealed that the LNM hazard ratio of the high-risk versus low-risk groups was 11.751 (95 % CI, 5.110–27.021; P < 0.001) in the validation cohort. In conclusion, the miRNA-based model is reliable and accurate for the early prediction of LNM in patients with HCC.

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