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Cancer. 2011 Apr 1;117(7):1454-62. doi: 10.1002/cncr.25689. Epub 2010 Nov 8.

MicroRNA-137 promoter methylation is associated with poorer overall survival in patients with squamous cell carcinoma of the head and neck.

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  • 1University of Pittsburgh Cancer Institute, Hillman Cancer Center, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania 15213-1863, USA.

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

The overall 5-year survival rate of approximately 60% for head and neck cancer patients has remained essentially unchanged over the past 30 years. MicroRNA-137 (miR-137) plays an essential role in cell-cycle control at the G1/S-phase checkpoint. However, the aberrant miR-137 promoter methylation observed in squamous cell carcinoma of the head and neck (SCCHN) suggests a tumor-specific molecular defect that may contribute to disease progression.

METHODS:

The goal of this study was to assess, in formalin-fixed, paraffin-embedded tumor tissue, the association between miR-137 promoter methylation and survival (both overall and disease free) and with prognostic factors including stage, tumor size, lymph node positivity, tumor grade, and surgical tumor margin positivity.

RESULTS:

The promoter methylation status of miR-137 was ascertained by methylation-specific polymerase chain reaction and detected in 11 of 67 SCCHN patients (16.4%), with no significant differences according to site (oral cavity, pharynx, larynx). Methylation of the miR-137 promoter was significantly associated with overall survival (hazard ratio, 3.68; 95% confidence interval, 1.01-13.38) but not with disease-free survival or any of the prognostic factors evaluated.

CONCLUSIONS:

The results of this study indicate that miR-137 is methylated in tumor tissue from pharyngeal and laryngeal squamous cancers, in addition to oral squamous cell carcinoma, and that miR-137 promoter methylation has potential utility as a prognostic marker for SCCHN.

Copyright © 2010 American Cancer Society.

PMID:
21425146
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
PMCID:
PMC3117118
Free PMC Article
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