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Prospective assessment of systemic microRNAs as markers of response to neoadjuvant chemotherapy in breast cancer

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Abstract

Neoadjuvant chemotherapy (NACT) is used in locally advanced breast cancer to reduce tumour burden prior to surgical resection. However, only a subset of NACT treated patients will respond to treatment or achieve a pathologic complete response (pCR). This multicenter, prospective study (CTRIAL-IE (ICORG) 10-11 study) evaluated circulating microRNA as novel non-invasive prognostic biomarkers of NACT response in breast cancer. Selected circulating microRNAs (Let-7a, miR-21, miR-145, miR-155, miR-195) were quantified from patients undergoing standard of care NACT treatment (n = 114) from whole blood at collected at diagnosis, and the association with NACT response and clinicopathological features evaluated. NACT responders had significantly lower levels of miR-21 (p = 0.036) and miR-195 (p = 0.017), compared to non-responders. Evaluating all breast cancer cases miR-21 was found to be an independent predictor of response (OR 0.538, 95% CI 0.308–0.943, p < 0.05). Luminal cancer NACT responders were found to have significantly decreased levels of miR-145 (p = 0.033) and miR-21 (p = 0.048), compared to non-responders. This study demonstrates the prognostic ability of miR-21, miR-195 and miR-145 as circulating biomarkers stratifying breast cancer patients by NACT response, identifying patients that will derive the maximum benefit from chemotherapy.

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McGuire, A., Casey, M. C., Waldron, R. M., Heneghan, H., Kalinina, O., Holian, E., … Kerin, M. J. (2020). Prospective assessment of systemic microRNAs as markers of response to neoadjuvant chemotherapy in breast cancer. Cancers, 12(7), 1–12. https://doi.org/10.3390/cancers12071820

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