Neoadjuvant chemoradiotherapy (CRT) followed by total mesorectal excision has emerged as the standard treatment for locally advanced rectal cancer (LARC) patients. However, many cases do not respond to neoadjuvant CRT, suffering unnecessary toxicities and surgery delays. Thus, identification of predictive biomarkers for neoadjuvant CRT is a current clinical need. In the present study, microRNA-31 expression was measured in formalin-fixed paraffin-embedded (FFPE) biopsies from 78 patients diagnosed with LARC who were treated with neoadjuvant CRT. Then, the obtained results were correlated with clinical and pathological characteristics and outcome. High microRNA-31 (miR-31) levels were found overexpressed in 34.2% of cases. Its overexpression significantly predicted poor pathological response (p = 0.018) and worse overall survival (OS) (p = 0.008). The odds ratio for no pathological response among patients with miR-31 overexpression was 0.18 (Confidence Interval = 0.06 to 0.57, p = 0.003). Multivariate analysis corroborated the clinical impact of miR-31 in determining pathological response to neoadjuvant CRT as well as OS. Altogether, miR-31 quantification emerges as a novel valuable clinical tool to predict both pathological response and outcome in LARC patients.
Caramés, C., Cristobal, I., Moreno, V., Marín, J. P., González-Alonso, P., Torrejón, B., … García-Foncillas, J. (2016). Microrna-31 emerges as a predictive biomarker of pathological response and outcome in locally advanced rectal cancer. International Journal of Molecular Sciences, 17(6). https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms17060878