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Solid tumors of childhood display specific serum microRNA profiles.



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Murray, Matthew J 
Raby, Katie L 
Saini, Harpreet K 
Bailey, Shivani 
Wool, Sophie V 


BACKGROUND: Serum biomarkers for diagnosis and risk stratification of childhood solid tumors would improve the accuracy/timeliness of diagnosis and reduce the need for invasive biopsies. We hypothesized that differential expression and/or release of microRNAs (miRNAs) by such tumors may be detected as altered serum miRNA profiles. METHODS: We undertook global quantitative reverse transcription PCR (qRT-PCR) miRNA profiling (n = 741) on RNA from 53 serum samples, representing 33 diagnostic cases of common childhood cancers plus 20 controls. Technical confirmation was performed in a subset of 21 cases, plus four independent samples. RESULTS: We incorporated robust quality control steps for RNA extraction, qRT-PCR efficiency and hemolysis quantification. We evaluated multiple methods to normalize global profiling data and identified the 'global mean' approach as optimal. We generated a panel of six miRNAs that were most stable in pediatric serum samples and therefore most suitable for normalization of targeted miRNA qRT-PCR data. Tumor-specific serum miRNA profiles were identified for each tumor type and selected miRNAs underwent confirmatory testing. We identified a panel of miRNAs (miR-124-3p/miR-9-3p/miR-218-5p/miR-490-5p/miR-1538) of potential importance in the clinical management of neuroblastoma, as they were consistently highly overexpressed in MYCN-amplified high-risk cases (MYCN-NB). We also derived candidate miRNA panels for noninvasive differential diagnosis of a liver mass (hepatoblastoma vs. combined MYCN-NB/NB), an abdominal mass (Wilms tumor vs. combined MYCN-NB/NB), and sarcoma subtypes. CONCLUSIONS: This study describes a pipeline for robust diagnostic serum miRNA profiling in childhood solid tumors, and has identified candidate miRNA profiles for prospective testing. IMPACT: We propose a new noninvasive method with the potential to diagnose childhood solid tumors.



Adolescent, Biomarkers, Tumor, Child, Child, Preschool, Female, Humans, Infant, Infant, Newborn, Male, MicroRNAs, Neoplasms, RNA, Neoplasm, Real-Time Polymerase Chain Reaction

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Cancer Epidemiol Biomarkers Prev

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American Association for Cancer Research (AACR)
Cancer Research Uk (None)
RCUK, Other