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PLoS One. 2012;7(3):e33762. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0033762. Epub 2012 Mar 16.

Downregulation of six microRNAs is associated with advanced stage, lymph node metastasis and poor prognosis in small cell carcinoma of the cervix.

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State Key Laboratory of Oncology in Southern China, Cancer Center, Sun Yat-sen University, Guangzhou, People's Republic of China.



Small cell carcinoma of the cervix (SCCC) is very rare, and due to the long time period required to recruit sufficient numbers of patients, there is a paucity of information regarding the prognostic factors associated with survival. MicroRNAs (miRNAs) have been used as cancer-related biomarkers in a variety of tumor types, and the objective of this study was to determine whether microRNA expression profiles can predict clinical outcome in SCCC.


Forty-four patients with SCCC who underwent radical hysterectomy between January 2000 and October 2009 were enrolled. Using the GeneCopoeia All-in-One™ Customized Human qPCR Primer Array, the expression profiles of 30 miRNAs associated with tumor metastasis was obtained from the formalin-fixed paraffin embedded samples of all 44 patients. Seven miRNAs, has-let-7c, has-miR-10b, has-miR-100, has-miR-125b, has-miR-143, has-miR-145 and has-miR-199a-5p were significantly down-regulated in advanced stage SCCC patients (FIGO IB2-IV) compared to early stage SCCC patients (FIGOIB1). Among, downregulation of six miRNAs, has-let-7c, has-miR-100, has-miR-125b, has-miR-143, has-miR-145 and has-miR-199a-5p were significantly associated with lymph node metastasis and reduced survival in SCCC. Kaplan-Meier survival analyses revealed that SCCC patients with low expression of has-miR-100 (P = 0.019) and has-miR-125b (P = 0.020) projected a significant tendency towards poorer prognosis.


This study demonstrates that downregulation of 7 miRNA associated with advanced stage, 6 miRNAs with metastasis and 2 with poor prognosis in SCCC. Functional analysis of these miRNAs may enhance our understanding of SCCC, as altered expression of specific miRNAs may regulate the metastatic pathway and provide novel targets for therapy.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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