BACKGROUND: Given the high recurrence and progression rates and the absence of reliable markers for early detection and prognosis prediction of patients with urothelial bladder cancer (BCa), the exploration of new biomarkers with high specificity is imperative. Mainly, microRNAs (miRNAs), which are involved in the initiation and the progression of BCa. Herein, the expression patterns of miR-182, miR-205, miR-27a and miR-369 were evaluated in patients with urothelial BCa.
METHODS AND RESULTS: The expression levels of the miRNAs were investigated in 90 FFPE tissue samples (23 LG NMIBC, 44 HG NMIBC, 23 MIBC) and 10 non tumoral bladder tissues using TaqMan based RT-qPCR. Data analysis was performed using 2-ΔΔCT method. Correlation to clinical characteristics of the patients was performed using descriptive statistics and the receiver operating characteristic (ROC) curve was performed to evaluate the diagnostic value of all miRNAs. MiR-27a, miR-205 and miR-369 were down-regulated whereas miR-182 was up-regulated in patients compared to controls (p < 0.001). MiR-205 and miR-182 positively segregate between NMIBC and MIBC (p = 0.002 and p = 0.000 respectively) whereas the distribution of miR-27a's expression among these tumor groups was almost significant (p = 0.05) and that of miR-369's expression was irrelevant (p = 0.618). Interestingly, miR-182 was discriminative between LG NMIBC and HG NMIBC (p < 0.001) and Ta/T1 tumors (p = 0.000). Furthermore, high levels of miR-182 were potentially predictive of progression in NMIBC patients (p = 0.01).
CONCLUSION: Collectively, a selection of miRNAs was found to be aberrantly expressed in BCa suggesting a potential diagnostic value in BCa. In addition, the clinical value of miR-182 and miR-205 as potential prognosis biomarkers was highlighted. Indeed, our data provide additional insights into cancer biology. Further functional or target studies are mandatory to strengthen these findings.