A novel saliva-based microRNA biomarker panel to detect head and neck cancers
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Background MicroRNAs (miRNAs) are known to play an important role in cancer development by post-transcriptionally affecting the expression of critical genes. The aims of this study were two-fold: (i) to develop a robust method to isolate miRNAs from small volumes of saliva and (ii) to develop a panel of saliva-based diagnostic biomarkers for the detection of head and neck squamous cell carcinoma (HNSCC). Methods Five differentially expressed miRNAs were selected from miScript頭iRNA microarray data generated using saliva from five HNSCC patients and five healthy controls. Their differential expression was subsequently confirmed by RT-qPCR using saliva samples from healthy controls (n?=?56) and HNSCC patients (n?=?56). These samples were divided into two different cohorts, i.e., a first confirmatory cohort (n?=?21) and a second independent validation cohort (n?=?35), to narrow down the miRNA diagnostic panel to three miRNAs: miR-9, miR-134 and miR-191. This diagnostic panel was independently validated using HNSCC miRNA expression data from The Cancer Genome Atlas (TCGA), encompassing 334 tumours and 39 adjacent normal tissues. Receiver operating characteristic (ROC) curve analysis was performed to assess the diagnostic capacity of the panel. Results On average 60 ng/匠miRNA was isolated from 200 匠of saliva. Overall a good correlation was observed between the microarray data and the RT-qPCR data. We found that miR-9 (P <0.0001), miR-134 (P <0.0001) and miR-191 (P <0.001) were differentially expressed between saliva from HNSCC patients and healthy controls, and that these miRNAs provided a good discriminative capacity with area under the curve (AUC) values of 0.85 (P <0.0001), 0.74 (P?<?0.001) and 0.98 (P?<?0.0001), respectively. In addition, we found that the salivary miRNA data showed a good correlation with the TCGA miRNA data, thereby providing an independent validation. Conclusions We show that we have developed a reliable method to isolate miRNAs from small volumes of saliva, and that the saliva-derived miRNAs miR-9, miR-134 and miR-191 may serve as novel biomarkers to reliably detect HNSCC.
Cell Oncology (Dordrecht)
Medical and Health Sciences not elsewhere classified