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Different levels of serum microRNAs in prostate cancer and benign prostatic hyperplasia: evaluation of potential diagnostic and prognostic role

Authors Cochetti G, Poli G, Guelfi G, Boni A, Egidi MG, Mearini E

Received 5 August 2016

Accepted for publication 28 September 2016

Published 13 December 2016 Volume 2016:9 Pages 7545—7553


Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single-blind

Peer reviewer comments 3

Editor who approved publication: Dr Ingrid Espinoza

Giovanni Cochetti,1 Giulia Poli,2 Gabriella Guelfi,3 Andrea Boni,1 Maria Giulia Egidi,1 Ettore Mearini1

1Department of Surgical and Biomedical Sciences, Institution of Urological, Andrological Surgery and Minimally Invasive Techniques, 2Department of Experimental Medicine, Section of Terni, 3Department of Veterinary Medicine, University of Perugia, Perugia, Italy

Introduction: Diagnosis of prostate cancer (PCa) is based on prostate biopsy that is performed when prostate specific antigen (PSA) is persistently altered over time and/or abnormal digital rectal examination is found. Serum PSA levels increase in both PCa and benign prostatic hyperplasia, leading to an increased number of unnecessary biopsies. There is an urgent need to unravel PCa-specific molecular signatures.
Patients and methods: This study aimed at characterizing a panel of circulating micro­RNAs (miRNAs) that could distinguish PCa from benign prostatic hyperplasia in a population of age-matched patients with increased PSA levels. Both miRNAs targeting genes involved in PCa onset and miRNAs whose role in PCa has been highlighted in other studies were included. For this purpose, let-7c, let-7e, let-7i, miR-26a-5p, miR-26b-5p, miR-24-3p, miR-23b-3p, miR-27b-3p, miR-106a-5p, miR-20b-5p, miR-18b-5p, miR-19b-2-5p, miR-363-3p, miR-497, miR-195, miR-25-3p, miR-30c-5p, miR-622, miR-874-3p, miR-346 and miR-940 were assayed through real-time PCR in 64 patients with PCa and compared with 60 patients with benign prostatic hyperplasia. The ability of miRNAs to predict the stage of disease was also analyzed.
Results: Let-7c, let-7e, let-7i, miR-26a-5p, miR-26b-5p, miR-18b-5p and miR-25-3p were able to discriminate patients with PCa from those harboring benign prostatic hyperplasia, both presenting altered PSA levels (>3 ng/mL). MiR-25-3p and miR-18b-5p showed the highest sensitivity and specificity to predict PCa, respectively. The combination of these two miRNAs improved the overall sensitivity. A correlation between pathological Gleason score and miRNA expression levels was reported; miR-363-3p, miR-26a-5p, miR-26b-5p, miR-106a-5p, miR-18b-5p, miR-25-3p and let-7i decreased in expression concomitantly with an increase in malignancy.
Conclusion: This study confirms serum miRNAs to be reliable candidates for the development of minimally invasive biomarkers for the diagnosis and prognosis of PCa, particularly in those cases where PSA acts as a flawed marker.

Keywords: miRNA, prostate cancer, serum, PSA, benign prostatic hyperplasia

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