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PLoS One. 2019 May 31;14(5):e0217443. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0217443. eCollection 2019.

Effect of radiotherapy on the expression of cardiovascular disease-related miRNA-146a, -155, -221 and -222 in blood of women with breast cancer.

Author information

1
Physiology Unit, School of Medicine, IISPV, Rovira i Virgili University, Reus, Spain.
2
Laboratory of Toxicology and Environmental Health, School of Medicine, IISPV, Rovira i Virgili University, Reus, Spain.
3
Radiation Oncology Department, Sant Joan University Hospital, IISPV, Rovira i Virgili University, Reus, Spain.
4
Radiation Oncology Unit, Miguel Servet University Hospital, Zaragoza, Spain.
5
Research Unit on Lipids and Atherosclerosis, Sant Joan University Hospital, IISPV, Rovira i Virgili University, Reus, Spain.

Abstract

Breast cancer (BC) is one of the most important neoplasias among women. Many patients receive radiotherapy (RT), which involves radiation exposure of the thoracic zone, including the heart and blood vessels, leading to the development of cardiovascular disease (CVD) as a long-term side effect. The severity of CVD-related pathologies leads research on assessing novel CVD biomarkers as diagnostic, prognostic or therapeutic agents. Currently, the possible candidates include blood microRNAs (miRNAs). Previous studies have supported a role for miRNA-146a, -155, -221, and -222 in the progression of CVD. Our purpose was to evaluate the RT-induced modulation of the expression of these miRNAs in the blood of women with BC. Pre-RT control and post-RT blood samples were collected, and after miRNA isolation and reverse transcription, the levels of the selected miRNAs were measured by real-time PCR. Our results showed that miRNA-155 exhibited the lowest expression, while miRNA-222 exhibited the highest expression, followed by miRNA-221. The expression of each individual miRNA was positively correlated with that of the others both pre-RT control and post-RT and inversely correlated with age before RT. Furthermore, RT promoted the overexpression of the selected miRNAs. Their levels were also affected by CVD-linked clinical parameters, treatment and BC side. Modulation of the expression of the selected miRNAs together with other risk factors might be associated with the development of future cardiovascular pathologies. Further confirmatory studies are needed to assess their potential as possible biomarkers in the progression of or as therapeutic targets for RT-induced CVD in BC patients.

Conflict of interest statement

The authors have declared that no competing interests exist.

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