The Clinical Significance of MiR-148a as a Predictive Biomarker in Patients with Advanced Colorectal Cancer

Masanobu Takahashi, Miriam Cuatrecasas, Francesc Balaguer, Keun Hur, Yuji Toiyama, Antoni Castells, C. Richard Boland, Ajay Goel

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

140 Citations (Scopus)


Aim: Development of robust prognostic and/or predictive biomarkers in patients with colorectal cancer (CRC) is imperative for advancing treatment strategies for this disease. We aimed to determine whether expression status of certain miRNAs might have prognostic/predictive value in CRC patients treated with conventional cytotoxic chemotherapies. Methods: We studied a cohort of 273 CRC specimens from stage II/III patients treated with 5-fluorouracil-based adjuvant chemotherapy and stage IV patients subjected to 5-fluorouracil and oxaliplatin-based chemotherapy. In a screening set (n = 44), 13 of 21 candidate miRNAs were successfully quantified by multiplex quantitative RT-PCR. In the validation set comprising of the entire patient cohort, miR-148a expression status was assessed by quantitative RT-PCR, and its promoter methylation was quantified by bisulfite pyrosequencing. Lastly, we analyzed the associations between miR-148a expression and patient survival. Results: Among the candidate miRNAs studied, miR-148a expression was most significantly down-regulated in advanced CRC tissues. In stage III and IV CRC, low miR-148a expression was associated with significantly shorter disease free-survival (DFS), a worse therapeutic response, and poor overall survival (OS). Furthermore, miR-148a methylation status correlated inversely with its expression, and was associated with worse survival in stage IV CRC. In multivariate analysis, miR-148a expression was an independent prognostic/predictive biomarker for advanced CRC patients (DFS in stage III, low vs. high expression, HR 2.11; OS in stage IV, HR 1.93). Discussion: MiR-148a status has a prognostic/predictive value in advanced CRC patients treated with conventional chemotherapy, which has important clinical implications in improving therapeutic strategies and personalized management of this malignancy.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere46684
JournalPloS one
Issue number10
Publication statusPublished - 2012 Oct 3
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General


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