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Int J Oncol. 2013 Jun;42(6):1858-68. doi: 10.3892/ijo.2013.1879. Epub 2013 Apr 2.

The miR-221/222 cluster, miR-10b and miR-92a are highly upregulated in metastatic minimally invasive follicular thyroid carcinoma.

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  • 1Department of Molecular Medicine and Anatomy, Nippon Medical School, Tokyo, Japan.

Abstract

Minimally invasive follicular thyroid carcinoma (MI-FTC) is characterized by limited capsular and/or vascular invasion with good long-term outcomes. However, some cases of MI-FTC show a poor prognosis because of severe distant metastasis (i.e., metastatic MI-FTC). Nonetheless, no method has been established for predicting the prognosis of MI-FTC. This study was conducted to identify novel prognostic factors for metastatic MI-FTC by the use of microRNA (miRNA). Thirty-four patients with MI-FTC were categorized into two groups: the metastatic group, M(+) (n=12) and the non-metastatic group, M(-) (n=22). In the M(+) group, distant metastasis was recognized after the initial operation established the diagnosis of MI-FTC. In the M(-) group, no distant metastasis was recognized postoperatively for ≥ 10 years. Using laser microdissection followed by quantitative real-time PCR and PCR arrays, we performed a comprehensive expression profiling of 667 miRNAs in formalin-fixed, paraffin-embedded samples from the initial MI-FTC operation. Furthermore, we assessed the potential use of miRNAs as novel biomarkers for the metastatic potential of MI-FTC by logistic regression analysis. Comprehensive quantitative analysis of miRNA expression in MI-FTC samples revealed that the miR-221/222 cluster (i.e., miR-221, miR-222 and miR-222*), miR-10b and miR-92a were significantly upregulated in the M(+) group compared with the M(-) group. Interestingly, the expression levels of these miRNAs were also shown to be upregulated in widely invasive FTC (WI-FTC; n=13) that has distant metastasis and worse prognosis, indicating a close similarity in the miRNA expression between metastatic MI-FTC and WI-FTC. Logistic regression analysis revealed that miR-10b made a significant contribution to prognosis (OR 19.759, 95% CI 1.433-272.355, p=0.026). Our findings suggest that miR-10b is a potential prognostic factor for evaluating the metastatic potential of MI-FTC at an initial operation stage.

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