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PLoS One. 2012;7(1):e30221. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0030221. Epub 2012 Jan 11.

Identification of miRNA-103 in the cellular fraction of human peripheral blood as a potential biomarker for malignant mesothelioma--a pilot study.

Author information

1
Center of Molecular Medicine, Institute of Prevention and Occupational Medicine of the German Social Accident Insurance-Institute of the Ruhr-Universität Bochum (IPA), Bochum, Germany. weber@ipa-dguv.de

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

To date, no biomarkers with reasonable sensitivity and specificity for the early detection of malignant mesothelioma have been described. The use of microRNAs (miRNAs) as minimally-invasive biomarkers has opened new opportunities for the diagnosis of cancer, primarily because they exhibit tumor-specific expression profiles and have been commonly observed in blood of both cancer patients and healthy controls. The aim of this pilot study was to identify miRNAs in the cellular fraction of human peripheral blood as potential novel biomarkers for the detection of malignant mesothelioma.

METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS:

Using oligonucleotide microarrays for biomarker identification the miRNA levels in the cellular fraction of human peripheral blood of mesothelioma patients and asbestos-exposed controls were analyzed. Using a threefold expression change in combination with a significance level of p<0.05, miR-103 was identified as a potential biomarker for malignant mesothelioma. Quantitative real-time PCR (qRT-PCR) was used for validation of miR-103 in 23 malignant mesothelioma patients, 17 asbestos-exposed controls, and 25 controls from the general population. For discrimination of mesothelioma patients from asbestos-exposed controls a sensitivity of 83% and a specificity of 71% were calculated, and for discrimination of mesothelioma patients from the general population a sensitivity of 78% and a specificity of 76%.

CONCLUSIONS/SIGNIFICANCE:

The results of this pilot study show that miR-103 is characterized by a promising sensitivity and specificity and might be a potential minimally-invasive biomarker for the diagnosis of mesothelioma. In addition, our results support the concept of using the cellular fraction of human blood for biomarker discovery. However, for early detection of malignant mesothelioma the feasibility of miR-103 alone or in combination with other biomarkers needs to be analyzed in a prospective study.

PMID:
22253921
PMCID:
PMC3256226
DOI:
10.1371/journal.pone.0030221
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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