Metastasis is the principal cause of high morbidity and mortality among breast cancer (BC) patients. Identification of markers that can be routinely monitored to predict onset of metastasis in BC patients and prognosis of metastatic breast cancer (MBC) patients would increase their median survival. In this study, plasma miRNAs of 40 MBC patients were profiled by TaqMan low density arrays and miRNAs with prognostic capacity were identified. The candidates were validated initially in the samples of 237 MBC patients and subsequently in 335 samples from an independent study cohort of BC patients. Sixteen miRNAs were established to be significantly associated with overall survival, and were termed as prognostic miRNA panel template (PROMPT). These included miR-141, miR-144, miR-193b, miR-200a, miR-200b, miR-200c, miR-203, miR-210, miR-215, miR-365, miR-375, miR-429, miR-486-5p, miR-801, miR-1260 and miR-1274a. Additionally, 11 of these miRNAs were also associated with progression-free survival. Their prognostic significance was further confirmed in samples from a second study cohort of BC patients. In addition, miR-200a, miR-200b, miR-200c, miR-210, miR-215 and miR-486-5p were found to be significantly associated with onset of metastasis up to 2 years prior to clinical diagnosis in BC patients. We have thus identified panels of miRNAs, which include metastasis promoting miR-200 family and miR-203, as well as oncogenic and tumor-suppressive miRNAs, that can serve as prognostic markers for MBC, and early detection markers of metastasis in BC.
Type of Publication:
Journal article published