Background: Neoadjuvant chemotherapy (NACT) has been recognized as a reliable therapeutic strategy in patients with unresectable advanced epithelial ovarian cancer (EOC). The molecular events leading to platinum (Pt) response in NACT settings have hitherto not been explored. In the present work, longitudinal changes of miRNA expression profile were investigated to identify miRNA families with prognostic role in high-grade serous EOC patients who received the NACT regimen. Patients and methods: One hundred sixty-four matched tumor biopsies taken at initial laparoscopic evaluation and at interval-debulking surgery (IDS) after four courses of Pt-based therapy were selected from 82 stage IIIC-IV high-grade serous-EOC patients that were judged unsuitable for complete primary debulking and subjected the NACT protocol. miRNA profiling by microarray, real-time PCR and immuno-histochemical staining for Smad2 phosphorylation (P-Smad2) were used for data analysis. Results: Analysis revealed that 369 miRNAs were differentially expressed in matched biopsies (referred to as DEMs). DEMs were not scattered across the genome, but clustered into families: miR-199, let-7, miR-30, miR-181 and miR-29. Multivariate analysis showed that miR-199a-3p, miR-199a-5p, miR-181a-5p and let-7g-5p associated with overall and progression- free survival (P0.05). Kaplan-Meier curves plotting concomitant expression of P-Smad2 and miR-181a-5p show significant differences in PFS and OS compared with those depicting the expression of each biomarker alone (P>0.001). Conclusions: This study describes several miRNA families with a prognostic role in the NACT setting. It also confirms that concomitant analysis of P-Smad2 and miR-181a-5p in surgical samples may be capable of identifying those ovarian cancer patients with poor outcome and little chance of response to Pt-based NACT.
- High-grade serous ovarian cancer
- Longitudinal matched tumor biopsies analysis, miR-181a-5p
- Neoadjuvant chemotherapy
ASJC Scopus subject areas