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Identification of metastasis-related microRNAs in hepatocellular carcinoma

Authors

  • Anuradha Budhu,

    1. Liver Carcinogenesis Section, Laboratory of Human Carcinogenesis, Center for Cancer Research, National Cancer Institute, Bethesda, MD
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    • These authors contributed equally to this work.

  • Hu-Liang Jia,

    1. Liver Carcinogenesis Section, Laboratory of Human Carcinogenesis, Center for Cancer Research, National Cancer Institute, Bethesda, MD
    2. Liver Cancer Institute and Zhongshan Hospital, Fudan University, Shanghai, China
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    • These authors contributed equally to this work.

  • Marshonna Forgues,

    1. Liver Carcinogenesis Section, Laboratory of Human Carcinogenesis, Center for Cancer Research, National Cancer Institute, Bethesda, MD
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  • Chang-Gong Liu,

    1. Department of Molecular Virology, Immunology, and Medical Genetics and Comprehensive Cancer Center, Ohio State University, Columbus, OH
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  • David Goldstein,

    1. Office of Science & Technology Partnerships, Center for Cancer Research, National Cancer Institute, Bethesda, MD
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  • Amy Lam,

    1. EMMS Corp., Rockville, MD
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  • Krista A. Zanetti,

    1. Molecular Genetics and Carcinogenesis Section, Laboratory of Human Carcinogenesis and Cancer Prevention Fellowship Program, Division of Cancer Prevention, Center for Cancer Research, National Cancer Institute, Bethesda, MD
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  • Qing-Hai Ye,

    1. Liver Cancer Institute and Zhongshan Hospital, Fudan University, Shanghai, China
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  • Lun-Xiu Qin,

    1. Liver Cancer Institute and Zhongshan Hospital, Fudan University, Shanghai, China
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  • Carlo M. Croce,

    Corresponding author
    1. Department of Molecular Virology, Immunology, and Medical Genetics and Comprehensive Cancer Center, Ohio State University, Columbus, OH
    • 37 Convent Drive, Building 37, Room 3044, Bethesda, MD 20892-4258
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  • Zhao-You Tang,

    Corresponding author
    1. Liver Cancer Institute and Zhongshan Hospital, Fudan University, Shanghai, China
    • 37 Convent Drive, Building 37, Room 3044, Bethesda, MD 20892-4258
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  • Xin Wei Wang

    Corresponding author
    1. Liver Carcinogenesis Section, Laboratory of Human Carcinogenesis, Center for Cancer Research, National Cancer Institute, Bethesda, MD
    • 37 Convent Drive, Building 37, Room 3044, Bethesda, MD 20892-4258
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    • fax: 301-496-0497


  • Potential conflict of interest: Nothing to report.

Abstract

MicroRNAs (miRNAs) have been used as cancer-related biomarkers. Hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) is an aggressive cancer with a dismal outcome largely due to metastasis and postsurgical recurrence. We investigated whether the expression of certain miRNAs are associated with HCC metastasis. We examined the miRNA expression profiles of 482 cancerous and noncancerous specimens from radical resection of 241 patients with HCC. Using a supervised algorithm and a clinically well-defined cohort of 131 cases, we built a unique 20-miRNA metastasis signature that could significantly predict (P < 0.001) primary HCC tissues with venous metastases from metastasis-free solitary tumors with 10-fold cross-validation. However, significant miRNAs could not be identified from the corresponding noncancerous hepatic tissues. A survival risk prediction analysis revealed that a majority of the metastasis-related miRNAs were associated with survival. Furthermore, the 20-miRNA tumor signature was validated in 110 additional cases as a significant independent predictor of survival (P = 0.009) and was significantly associated with both survival and relapse in 89 cases of early stage HCC (P = 0.022 and 0.002, respectively). These 20 miRNAs may provide a simple profiling method to assist in identifying patients with HCC who are likely to develop metastases/recurrence. In addition, functional analysis of these miRNAs may enhance our biological understanding of HCC metastasis. (HEPATOLOGY 2008.)

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