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Table 4 Representative circulating miRNAs reported to predict response to chemotherapy and/or surgery

From: MicroRNA: a prognostic biomarker and a possible druggable target for circumventing multidrug resistance in cancer chemotherapy

Cancer type miRNA dysregulation associated with poor response Sample type Significance Reference
Breast ↑ miR-125b Serum Increased in patiens not responding to neoadjuvant chemotherapy [91]
Breast ↑ miR-210 Plasma Lower miR-210 plasma levels are associated with [92]
- complete response to trastuzumab (HER-2 targeted monoclonal antibody)
- surgical removal of tumor
- lack of tumor metastasis to lymph nodes
Colorectal (CRC) ↑ miR17-3p Plasma - Elevated in both CRC tissue and plasma [93]
- Lower level detected in post-operative plasma is associated with responsiveness to surgery
Colorectal (CRC) ↑ miR-29a Serum - Elevated in both CRC tissue and plasma [93]
- Help differentiate CRC from gastric cancer, inflammatory bowel disease and no tumor controls
- Lower level detected in post-operative plasma is associated with responsiveness to surgery
Colorectal (CRC) ↑ miR-27b, miR-148a, miR-326 Plasma Elevated in patients with metastatic CRC not responding to 5-fluouracil and oxaliplatin-based chemotherapy [94]
Lung ↑ miR-21 Plasma Increased; associated with resistance to platinum-based chemotherapy [95]
Non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma (NHL) ↓ miR-92a Plasma - Remarkably lower in NHL patients (< 5%) than in healthy subjects [96]
- The very low plasma level of miR-92a increased in complete response phase but became lower again in the relapse phase
Prostate ↑ Prostate cancer secretary (PCS)-miRNAs Plasma/serum - It is not clear whether circulating miRNAs are actively released by live cancer cells or derived from dead cancer cells. [97]
- In vitro cytotoxic treatment of DU-145 cells enhanced the release of exosomes-associated PCS-miRNAs, with the exception of miR-485-3p, which is retained by surviving cancer cells.
- The intracellular retention of miR-485-3p was shown to downregulate the transcriptional repressor NF-Y, thus allowing the overexpression of a few drug resistance genes (including TOP2A, MDR1, and cyclin B2 pro-survival genes)
Prostate ↑ miR-21 Serum - Increased in hormone-refractory prostate cancer [98]
- Associated with resistance to docetaxel-based chemotherapy
Advanced renal cell carcinoma ↑ miR-192 Peripheral blood samples - Models predicting poor and prolonged response to sunitinib were constructed [99]
↑ miR-193a-3p
- Ontology analyses revealed relevance to cancer-related pathways (angiogenesis and apoptosis)
    - miRNA expression signatures may be used to identify patients who may benefit the most from 1st line therapy with sunitinib