Paper published in JAMA showed that miR-21 was associated with poor survival outcome and response to adjuvant chemotherapy.

Preliminary research has found an association between certain miRNA expression patterns and poor survival and treatment outcomes for colon cancer, researchers report.

The team evaluated miRNA profiles of colon tumors and paired nontumorous tissue to study their potential role in tumor formation, diagnosis, and therapeutic outcome in colon cancer. The study included 84 patients from Maryland. Associations were validated in a second, independent group of 113 patients from Hong Kong.

Using miRNA microarray analysis in the Maryland test cohort, 37 miRNAs were found to be differentially expressed in tumor tissues. Expression patterns of five tested miRNAs were validated in the Hong Kong cohort.

“The discriminatory power of five microRNAs to differentiate between tumor and nontumorous tissue suggests that predictable and systematic changes of microRNA expression patterns may occur during tumorigenesis and may be representative of sporadic colon adenocarcinomas,” the authors write.

The scientists pointed out that tumors with high expression of miR-21 were associated with poor survival outcome and poor response to adjuvant chemotherapy.

The study was performed by investigators at the NCI, University of Hong Kong, Ohio State University Comprehensive Cancer Center, and The University of Texas M. D. Anderson Cancer Center. The results are published in the January 30 issue of JAMA.

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