Four-miRNA Signature to Identify Asbestos-Related Lung Malignancies

Lory Santarelli, Simona Gaetani, Federica Monaco, Massimo Bracci, Matteo Valentino, Monica Amati, Corrado Rubini, Armando Sabbatini, Ernesto Pasquini, Nunzia Zanotta, Manola Comar, Jiri Neuzil, Marco Tomasetti, Massimo Bovenzi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


BACKGROUND: Altered miRNA expression is an early event upon exposure to occupational/environmental carcinogens; thus, identification of a novel asbestos-related profile of miRNAs able to distinguish asbestos-induced cancer from cancer with different etiology can be useful for diagnosis. We therefore performed a study to identify miRNAs associated with asbestos-induced malignancies.

METHODS: Four groups of patients were included in the study, including patients with asbestos-related (NSCLCAsb) and asbestos-unrelated non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) or with malignant pleural mesothelioma (MPM), and disease-free subjects (CTRL). The selected miRNAs were evaluated in asbestos-exposed population.

RESULTS: Four serum miRNAs, that is miR-126, miR-205, miR-222, and miR-520g, were found to be implicated in asbestos-related malignant diseases. Notably, increased expression of miR-126 and miR-222 were found in asbestos-exposed subjects, and both miRNAs are involved in major pathways linked to cancer development. Epigenetic changes and cancer-stroma cross-talk could induce repression of miR-126 to facilitate tumor formation, angiogenesis, and invasion.

CONCLUSIONS: This study indicates that miRNAs are potentially involved in asbestos-related malignancies, and their expression outlines mechanism(s) whereby miRNAs may be involved in an asbestos-induced pathogenesis.

IMPACT: The discovery of a miRNA panel for asbestos-related malignancies would impact on occupational compensation and may be utilized for screening asbestos-exposed populations.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)119-126
Number of pages8
JournalCancer Epidemiology Biomarkers and Prevention
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2019


Dive into the research topics of 'Four-miRNA Signature to Identify Asbestos-Related Lung Malignancies'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this