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Br J Cancer. 2015 Nov 17;113(10):1467-76. doi: 10.1038/bjc.2015.366. Epub 2015 Oct 27.

Plasma microRNA profiles: identification of miR-744 as a novel diagnostic and prognostic biomarker in pancreatic cancer.

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Division of Digestive Surgery, Department of Surgery, Kyoto Prefectural University of Medicine, 465 Kajii-cho, Kawaramachihirokoji, Kamigyo-ku, Kyoto 602-8566, Japan.
Department of Surgery, Kyoto Second Red Cross Hospital, 355-5 Kamanzadoori Marutamachi Haruobicho, Kamigyo-ku, Kyoto 602-8026, Japan.



This study aims to explore novel microRNAs in plasma for screening cancer and predicting clinical outcomes in pancreatic cancer (PCa) patients using a microRNA array-based approach.


We used the Toray 3D-Gene microRNA array-based approach to compare plasma levels between PCa patients and healthy volunteers.


(1) Six oncogenic microRNAs (miR-615-5p, -744, -575, -557, -675, and -550a) with high expression in plasma were selected. (2) By quantitative RT-PCR using plasma samples from 94 PCa patients and 68 healthy volunteers, a significantly higher level of plasma miR-744 in PCa patients than in healthy volunteers was validated in small-scale analysis (P=0.0038), two independent cohort analyses, and large-scale analysis (P<0.0001, AUC 0.8307). (3) miR-744 expression was significantly higher in PCa tissues (P=0.0069) and PCa cell lines (P=0.0074) than in normal tissues and fibroblasts, respectively. Preoperative plasma level of miR-744 was significantly reduced in postoperative samples (P=0.0063). (4) A high level of plasma miR-744, which was correlated with lymph node metastasis (P=0.0407) and recurrences (P=0.0376), was an independent poor prognostic factor of PCa patients after pancreatectomy (P=0.0007, HR 21.2 (3.17-436)). Furthermore, a high level of plasma miR-744 contributed to poorer progression-free survival of non-operable PCa patients who underwent gemcitabine-based chemotherapy (P=0.0533). Overexpression of miR-744 in PCa cells induced significant chemoresistance to gemcitabine in vitro.


Plasma miR-744 might be useful biomarker for screening PCa, monitoring, and predicting poor prognosis and chemoresistance in PCa patients.

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