Prognostic Stratification of Bladder Cancer Patients with a MicroRNA-based Approach

Ilaria Cavallari, Angela Grassi, Paola Del Bianco, Alberto Aceti, Carlotta Zaborra, Evgeniya Sharova, Irene Bertazzolo, Donna M D'Agostino, Massimo Iafrate, Vincenzo Ciminale

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Robust non-invasive tests for prognostic stratification of bladder cancer (BCa) patients are in high demand. Following a comprehensive analysis of studies on BCa, we selected a panel of 29 microRNAs (miRNAs) and analyzed their levels in urine and plasma samples in a prospective cohort of 63 BCa patients (32 at high risk of recurrence and 31 low-risk cases) and 37 healthy controls using RT-qPCR. To design an assay suitable for large-scale testing, we applied a hierarchical pipeline to select the miRNAs that were not affected by confounding factors such as haematuria and urine specific gravity, and exceeded stringent cut-off criteria (fold change >2.5 and p-value < 0.005). Using a two-step decision tree based on the urine levels of miR-34a-5p, miR-200a-3p and miR-193a-5p, normalized against miR-125b-5p, patients could be classified as high- or low-risk with a sensitivity of 0.844, specificity of 0.806 and accuracy of 0.825. Furthermore, univariate Cox proportional hazards regression analyses indicated that increased urine levels of miR-29a-3p, miR-34a-5p, miR-193a-5p, miR-200c-3p, miR-205-5p and miR-532-5p were associated with a shorter event-free survival (hazard ratios > 3.1, p-value < 0.05). Taken together, our findings suggest that measuring the urine levels of these miRNAs could provide a novel cost-effective, noninvasive test for risk assessment of BCa patients.

Original languageEnglish
Article number3133
Number of pages14
JournalCancers
Volume12
Issue number11
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Oct 26 2020

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