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Open Access Research article

MicroRNA profile of paclitaxel-resistant serous ovarian carcinoma based on formalin-fixed paraffin-embedded samples

Xiao Li12, Yaer Lu13, Yaxia Chen2, Weiguo Lu2 and Xing Xie2*

Author Affiliations

1 Women’s Reproductive Health Laboratory of Zhejiang Province, Women’s Hospital, School of Medicine, Zhejiang University, Hangzhou, China

2 Department of Gynecologic Oncology, Women’s Hospital, School of Medicine, Zhejiang University, No.1 Xueshi Road, Hangzhou, Zhejiang, 310006, China

3 Zhejiang Provincial People’s Hospital, Hangzhou, Zhejiang, China

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BMC Cancer 2013, 13:216  doi:10.1186/1471-2407-13-216

Published: 30 April 2013



To assess the feasibility of validating microRNA (miRNA) profile related to paclitaxel-sensitivity in formalin-fixed paraffin-embedded (FFPE) samples of serous ovarian carcinoma (OC) patients.


Deregulated miRNAs identified by miRNA microarray were further detected in 45 FFPE OC samples using Realtime PCR. Correlations between paired FFPE and frozen tumor samples were analyzed. Survival times were compared between 6 high and low miRNAs groups. Western blot and luciferase reporter assay were used for validating the target of miRNA.


Sixteen up-regulated miRNAs and twenty-three down-regulated miRNAs were revealed in pacilitaxel-resistant ST30 cells. The up-regulated miRNAs (miR-320a, 22 and 129-5p) and down-regulated miRNAs (miR-9, 155 and 640) were confirmed in paclitaxel-resistant FFPE tumor samples, compared with paclitaxel-sensitive samples. Higher miR-9 and miR-640 showed better survival time in OC patients. Expressions of miR-9, 155 and 22 in FFPE samples were closely mimicked by those in frozen tissues. RAB34 was validated as a direct target of miR-9.


We validated miRNA profile in pacilitaxel-resistant OC using FFPE samples, which might enable treatment stratification and help us to predict outcomes in OC patients. FFPE samples are feasible materials for miRNA research.

Ovarian carcinoma; Chemoresistance; Formalin-fixed paraffin-embedded (FFPE); microRNA