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Serum exosomal miR-125b is a novel prognostic marker for hepatocellular carcinoma

Authors Liu W, Hu J, Zhou K, Chen F, Wang Z, Liao B, Dai Z, Cao Y, Fan J, Zhou J

Received 20 April 2017

Accepted for publication 13 June 2017

Published 1 August 2017 Volume 2017:10 Pages 3843—3851


Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single-blind

Peer reviewers approved by Dr Akshita Wason

Peer reviewer comments 2

Editor who approved publication: Prof. Dr. Geoffrey Pietersz

Weifeng Liu,1–3,* Jie Hu,1,2,* Kaiqian Zhou,1,2,* Feiyu Chen,1,2 Zheng Wang,1,2 Boyi Liao,1,2 Zhi Dai,1,2 Ya Cao,4 Jia Fan,1,2,5 Jian Zhou1,2,5,6

1Liver Cancer Institute, Zhongshan Hospital, Fudan University, Shanghai, China; 2Key Laboratory of Carcinogenesis and Cancer Invasion, Fudan University, Ministry of Education, Shanghai, China; 3Department of Hepatobiliary and Pancreatic Surgery, the Second Affiliated Hospital, Zhejiang University School of Medicine, Hangzhou, China; 4Cancer Research Institute, Central South University, Key Laboratory of Carcinogenesis and Cancer Invasion, Ministry of Education, Changsha, China; 5Institute of Biomedical Sciences, Fudan University, Shanghai, China; 6Shanghai Key Laboratory of Organ Transplantation, Shanghai, China

*These authors contributed equally to this work

Abstract: Hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) is the sixth most common cancer worldwide with high mortality. Circulating miRNA has been demonstrated as a novel noninvasive biomarker for many tumors. This study aimed to investigate the potential of circulating miR-125b as a prognostic marker of HCC. Exosomes were extracted from serum samples collected from two independent cohorts: cohort 1: HCC (n=30), chronic hepatitis B (CHB, n=30), liver cirrhosis (LC, n=30); cohort 2: HCC (n=128). We found that miR-125b levels were remarkably increased in exosomes compared to those in serum from patients with CHB, LC, and HCC (P<0.01, respectively). However, miR-125b levels in exosomes and the serum from HCC patients were inferior to that of CHB (P<0.01 and P=0.06) and LC patients (P<0.01 for all). Additionally, miR-125b levels in exosomes were associated with tumor number (P=0.02), encapsulation (P<0.01), and TNM stage (P<0.01). Kaplan–Meier analysis indicated that HCC patients with lower exosomal miR-125b levels showed reduced time to recurrence (TTR) (P<0.01) and overall survival (OS) (P<0.01). Furthermore, multivariate analysis revealed that miR-125b level in exosomes, but not in serum, was an independent predictive factor for TTR (P<0.001) and OS (P=0.011). Exosomal miR-125b levels predicted the recurrence and survival of HCC patients with an area under the ROC curve of 0.739 (83.0% sensitivity and 67.9% specificity) and 0.702 (82.5% sensitivity and 53.4% specificity). In conclusion, exosomal miR-125b could serve as a promising prognostic marker for HCC.

Keywords: exosome, miR-125b, hepatocellular carcinoma, prognosis, serum

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