Diagnostic pathology

microRNA-150: a promising novel biomarker for hepatitis B virus-related hepatocellular carcinoma.

PMID 26215970


Chronic hepatitis B virus (HBV) infection is a known major etiological factor for hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) development. Alpha-fetoprotein (AFP) is widely used to detect primary HCC, whereas its sensitivity and specificity are not satisfying. Recently, circulating microRNAs (miRNAs) have been reported to be promising biomarkers for diagnosing and monitoring cancers. This study was conducted to detect the application of serum miR-150 in the diagnosis and prognosis of HBV-related HCC. The expression of miR-150 was evaluated using a real-time quantitative RT-PCR in 350 serum samples (120 samples from controls, 110 from chronic hepatitis B (CHB) patients and 120 samples from HCC patients. Serum miR-150 levels were significantly reduced in HCC patients, compared with healthy controls (P < 0.0001) and CHB patients (P < 0.0001). Serum miR-150 levels were increased after surgical operation (P < 0.0001) and decreased after tumor recurrence (P < 0.0001). Receiver operating characteristic curve (ROC) analyses suggested that serum miR-150 had significant diagnostic value for HBV-related HCC. It yielded an area under the curve (AUC) of ROC of 0.931 with 82.5% sensitivity and 83.7% specificity in discriminating HCC from healthy controls, and an AUC of ROC of 0.881 with 79.1% sensitivity and 76.5% specificity in discriminating HCC from CHB patients. Moreover, Kaplan-Meier curve analysis revealed that HCC patients with lower serum miR-150 had a significantly shortened overall survival (P < 0.0001). Univariate and Multivariable Cox regression analysis indicated that serum miR-150 level was an independent risk factor for overall survival (P < 0.0001 and P = 0.015, respectively). Serum miR-150 can serve as a non-invasive biomarker for the diagnosis and prognosis of HCC patients.