Open Access Highly Accessed Research article

MicroRNA-484 is more highly expressed in serum of early breast cancer patients compared to healthy volunteers

Silvia Zearo1, Edward Kim1, Ying Zhu2, Jing Ting Zhao1, Stan B Sidhu13, Bruce G Robinson14 and Patsy SH Soon567*

Author Affiliations

1 Cancer Genetics, Hormones and Cancer, Kolling Institute of Medical Research, University of Sydney, Sydney, Australia

2 Hunter New England Local Health District, Royal North Shore Hospital, Sydney, Australia

3 Department of Endocrine and Oncology Surgery, Royal North Shore Hospital, Sydney, Australia

4 Department of Endocrinology, Royal North Shore Hospital, Sydney, Australia

5 Department of Surgery, Bankstown Hospital and South Western Sydney Clinical School, University of New South Wales, Kensington, Australia

6 Bankstown Hospital, Eldridge Rd, Bankstown, NSW 2200, Australia

7 Ingham Institute for Applied Medical Research, Liverpool, Australia

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BMC Cancer 2014, 14:200  doi:10.1186/1471-2407-14-200

Published: 18 March 2014

Abstract

Background

Previous studies have profiled breast cancer compared to normal breast tissue and identified differentially expressed microRNAs (miRNAs). These miRNAs are then assessed in serum of breast cancer patients compared to healthy volunteers. MiRNAs in serum however do not always reflect what is in tissue and important serum miRNAs may be missed. PCR arrays were therefore performed on serum samples from breast cancer patients compared to healthy volunteers with the aim of identifying circulating miRNAs that are more highly expressed in serum from early breast cancer patients compared to controls.

Methods

Taqman low density array (TLDA) cards were used to profile serum miRNAs in a discovery cohort of serum from 39 early breast cancer patients compared to 10 healthy volunteers. The results were confirmed in a validation cohort of serum from 98 early breast cancer patients compared to 25 healthy volunteers using customized qPCR plates.

Results

Seventeen miRNAs were found to have significantly higher levels in breast cancer serum compared to serum of healthy volunteers in the discovery cohort. Fourteen of these miRNAs were studied in the validation cohort and serum miR-484 was found to be at a significantly higher level in breast cancer serum compared to healthy volunteers.

Conclusion

In this study, we found that miR-484 is significantly differentially expressed in serum of early breast cancer patients compared to healthy volunteers. We did not however find any correlation between miR-484 levels with histopathological parameters of the breast cancers. With further studies, miR-484 may prove useful as an adjunct to mammography for detection of early breast cancer.

Keywords:
Breast cancer; microRNA; Serum