Author(s): Saldanha G, , Elshaw S, Sachs P, Alharbi H,
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Abstract Malignant melanoma is an aggressive form of skin cancer. Recently, drug therapy of advanced disease has been revolutionized by new agents. More therapeutic options, coupled with the desire to extend treatment to the adjuvant setting mean that prognostic biomarkers that can be assayed from formalin-fixed paraffin-embedded clinical would be valuable. microRNAs have potential to fill this need. We analyzed 377 microRNAs in 79 primary melanomas and 32 metastases using a split sample discovery strategy. From a discovery analysis using 40 thick primary melanomas (20 cases with metastasis and 20 controls without metastasis at 5 years), microRNA expression was measured by quantitative RT-PCR (QRT-PCR). MiR-10b emerged as a candidate prognostic microRNA. This was confirmed in an independent validation set of thick primary melanomas (20 cases with metastasis and 19 controls without metastasis at 5 years). In the combined discovery and validation cohorts (n=79), miR-10b expression showed a 3.7-fold increase in expression between cases and controls (P=0.005) and showed a trend of increasing expression between primary melanomas and their matched metastases (P<0.001). In situ hybridization showed expression was in melanoma cells and correlated with expression measured by QRT-PCR (P=0.0005). We used the combined discovery and validation samples to verify the prognostic value of additional candidate microRNAs identified from other studies, and proceeded to analyze miR-200b. We demonstrated that miR-10b and miR-200b showed independent prognostic value (P=0.002 and 0.047, respectively) in multivariable analysis alongside known clinico-pathological prognostic features (eg, Breslow thickness) using a Cox proportional hazards regression model. Furthermore, the addition of these microRNAs to the clinico-pathological features led to an improved regression model with better identification of aggressive thick melanomas. Taken together, these data suggest that miR-10b is a new prognostic microRNA for melanoma and that there could be a place for microRNA analysis in stratifying melanoma for therapy.
This article was published in Mod Pathol
and referenced in Journal of Data Mining in Genomics & Proteomics