About 30% stage I non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) patients undergoing resection will recur. Robust prognostic markers are required to better manage therapy options. MicroRNAs (miRNAs) are a class of small non-coding RNAs of 19-25 nt and play important roles in gene regulation in human cancers. The purpose of this study is to identify miRNA expression profiles that would better predict prognosis of stage I NSCLC. MiRNAs extracted from 527 stage I NSCLC patients were profiled on the human miRNA expression profiling v2 panel (Illumina). The expression profiles were analyzed for their association with cancer subtypes, lung cancer brain metastasis and recurrence/relapse free survival (RFS). MiRNA expression patterns between lung adenocarcinoma and squamous cell carcinoma differed significantly with 171 miRNAs, including Let-7 family members and miR-205. Ten miRNAs associated with brain metastasis were identified including miR-145*, which inhibit cell invasion and metastasis. Two miRNA signatures that are highly predictive of RFS were identified. The first contained 34 miRNAs derived from 357 stage I NSCLC patients independent of cancer subtype, whereas the second containing 27 miRNAs was adenocarcinoma specific. Both signatures were validated using formalin-fixed paraffin embedded and/or fresh frozen tissues in independent data set with 170 stage I patients. Our findings have important prognostic or therapeutic implications for the management of stage I lung cancer patients. The identified miRNAs hold great potential as targets for histology-specific treatment or prevention and treatment of recurrent disease.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cancer Research