Background: One-third of cervical cancer patients are still diagnosed at advanced stages. The five-year survival rate is decreased in about 50% of advanced stage cervical cancer patients worldwide, and the clinical outcomes are remarkably varied and difficult to predict. One of the miRNAs known to be associated with cancer tumorigenesis is miR-944. However, the prognostic value of miR-944 in cervical cancer has not been fully investigated. The aim of this study was to analyze clinical significance and prognostic value of miR-944 in cervical cancer. Methods: The expression levels of miR-944 were detected using quantitative reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction in five types of cervical cancer cell lines and 116 formalin-fixed paraffin-embedded (FFPE) cervical tissues. The association between the expression levels of miR-944 and prognostic value was analyzed using the Kaplan-Meier analysis and Cox proportional hazards model. Results: The expression levels of miR-944 in cervical cancer tissues were significantly higher compared with those in normal tissues (P < 0.0001). Moreover, the expression levels of miR-944 in cervical cancer cell lines and FFPE tissues with human papillomavirus (HPV) infection were significantly higher compared to those without HPV infection (P < 0.01 and P = 0.02). High miR-944 expression was also markedly associated with bulky tumor size (P = 0.026), advanced International Federation of Gynecology and Obstetrics (FIGO) stage (P = 0.042), and lymph node metastasis (P = 0.030). In particular, high miR-944 expression group showed shorter overall survival than the low miR-944 expression group in the advanced FIGO stage (84.4% vs. 44.4%, HR = 4.0, and P = 0.01). Conclusions: These results suggest that miR-944 may be used as a novel biomarker for improving prognosis and as a potential therapeutic target.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
This work was supported by the Basic Science Research Program of the National Research Foundation of Korea (NRF) funded by the Ministry of Science, ICT, and Future Planning (grant no. 2015R1A2A2A04004455). The funding bodies had no role in the study design, data collection, analysis, interpretation of data, and writing of the manuscript.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Cancer Research