From the Journals

CLL and breast cancer differ in the expression of regulatory microRNAs



Expression of three microRNAs (miR-155, miR-29a, and miR-27b) was detectable in patients with chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL) and in breast cancer (BC) patients, but not in healthy subjects, according to a molecular analysis of patients reported in Molecular Therapy Oncolytics. In addition, circulating microarrays were found to be able to differentiate between both CLL and BC patients and healthy subjects.

The real-time polymerase chain reaction (PCR) test, also known as a quantitative polymerase chain reaction (qPCR), works to amplify, as well as quantify a specific, or targeted DNA molecule. James Gathany/CDC

The researchers obtained blood samples from 15 CLL patients and tissue samples from 15 BC patients, all from a single center.

The use of quantitative reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction (qRT-PCR) demonstrated a significant increase in the expression of all three miRNAs in patients with BC and CLL, compared with respective healthy groups (P less than .001).

In BC patients, there was a significant difference between the expression of miR-155 and miR-29a (P less than .05), miR-155 and miR-27b (P less than .01), and miR-27b and miR-29a (P less than .001). In CLL patients, the qRT-PCR results showed a significant difference between expression of both miR-27b and miR-29a, compared with expression of miR-155 (P less than .001). In addition, there was a significant association between miR-155 and prevascular invasion (P = .013), but no significant association with other clinical variables (age, tumor grade, nuclear grade, tumor stage, tumor size, area of invasive component, tumor side, margin, or preneural invasion), according to the researchers.

Results also showed that elevated circulating miRNAs were BC specific and could differentiate BC tissues from the controls, and comparing expression of miRNAs between BC and CLL patients, there was also a significant difference for all miRNAs (P less than .001) between them.

“Our results suggest that miR-27b, miR-29a, and miR-155 could be potential new biomarkers for diagnosis, as well as a therapeutic target for CLL and BC,” the researchers concluded.

The authors reported that they had no competing interests.

SOURCE: Raeisi F et al. Mol Ther Oncolytics. 2020;16:230-7.

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