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Cancers (Basel). 2016 Mar 25;8(4). pii: E38. doi: 10.3390/cancers8040038.

Differential miRNA-Expression as an Adjunctive Diagnostic Tool in Neuroendocrine Tumors of the Lung.

Author information

1
Group Practice of Pathology, 65199 Wiesbaden, Germany. demes@pathologie-wiesbaden.de.
2
Department of Pathology und Cytology, Dr. Horst-Schmidt-Hospital (HSK), 65199 Wiesbaden, Germany. c.aszyk@gmail.com.
3
Department of Pathology und Cytology, Dr. Horst-Schmidt-Hospital (HSK), 65199 Wiesbaden, Germany. bartsch@pathologie-wiesbaden.de.
4
Department of Thoracic Surgery, Dr. Horst-Schmidt-Hospital (HSK), 65199 Wiesbaden, Germany. schirren@helios-kliniken.de.
5
Group Practice of Pathology, 65199 Wiesbaden, Germany. fisseler-eckhoff@pathologie-wiesbaden.de.
6
Department of Pathology und Cytology, Dr. Horst-Schmidt-Hospital (HSK), 65199 Wiesbaden, Germany. fisseler-eckhoff@pathologie-wiesbaden.de.

Abstract

Pulmonary malignancies with neuroendocrine differentiation represent a rare subclass of lung carcinomas, which vary in the extent of differentiation and grade of biological aggressiveness. In particular, neuroendocrine tumors are classified into well differentiated typical and atypical carcinoids as well as poorly differentiated large cell neuroendocrine and small cell lung carcinomas. Tiny MicroRNAs have been identified as reliable classifiers in distinct cancer types and seem to play important roles in cellular processes like regulation of cell growth, differentiation and apoptosis. In the present study, two different microRNAs (miR-21 and miR-34a) were explored for their involvements in pathogenesis of subtypes and finally in differential diagnosis of pulmonary neuroendocrine tumors. miR-21 was upregulated in poorly differentiated neuroendocrine tumors (mean rank: 26.8; 28.75) as compared to carcinoids (mean rank: 12.33; 12.07) with a significance of 0.00033. High-expression levels of miR-34a were associated with atypical carcinoids (p = 0.010). A close association is implicated between the elevated miR-21 values in high-grade and miR-34a patterns in low-grade atypical neuroendocrine lung carcinomas, which could potentially be exploited as practical supportive markers for differential lung cancer diagnosis in routine. However, some additional extended research and validation studies are needed to utilize them as routine markers or potential molecular targets for personalized medicine.

KEYWORDS:

LCNEC; Q-PCR; SCLC; carcinoids; miRNAs

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