Brain metastasis-related microRNAs in patients with advanced breast cancer

Jun Sato, Akihiko Shimomura, Junpei Kawauchi, Juntaro Matsuzaki, Yusuke Yamamoto, Satoko Takizawa, Hiromi Sakamoto, Makoto Ohno, Yoshitaka Narita, Takahiro Ochiya, Kenji Tamura

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29 Citations (Scopus)


Brain metastasis is a major distant metastasis occurring in patients with advanced breast cancer, and is associated with poor prognosis. MicroRNAs (miRNAs) have a strong influence on various oncological functions and have been reported as potential biomarkers for detecting distant metastasis. Specific biomarkers and unique miRNAs for brain metastasis have yet to be reported. The aim of this study was to identify novel miRNAs in serum, to assist in the diagnosis of brain metastasis in patients with advanced breast cancer. We retrospectively analyzed the medical records of patients with breast cancer and collected clinical data. In addition, we evaluated serum miRNA profiles in patients with breast cancer, with and without brain metastasis, using high-sensitivity microarrays. All patients underwent computed tomography or magnetic resonance imaging brain imaging tests. A total of 51 serum samples from patients with breast cancer and brain metastasis, stored in the National Cancer Center Biobank, were used, and 28 serum samples were obtained from controls without brain metastasis. Two miRNAs, miR-4428 and miR-4480, could significantly distinguish patients with brain metastasis, with area under the receiver operating characteristic curve (AUC) values of 0.779 and 0.781, respectively, while a combination of miR-4428 and progesterone receptor had an AUC value of 0.884. No significant correlations were identified between the expression levels of these two miRNAs in serum and clinical data. We conclude that serum miR-4428 and miR-4480 may be useful as biomarkers for predicting brain metastasis in patients with breast cancer.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere0221538
JournalPloS one
Issue number10
Publication statusPublished - 2019 Oct 1
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General


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