The prognostic impact of circulating miRNAs in patients with advanced esophagogastric cancer during palliative chemotherapy

Annette A. van Zweeden, Roza C. M. Opperman, Richard J. Honeywell, Godefridus J. Peters, Henk M. W. Verheul, Hans J. van der Vliet, Dennis Poel*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


The prognosis of patients with advanced oesophageal cancer (EC) and gastric cancer (GC) is poor. Circulating microRNAs (ci-miRNAs) may have prognostic and predictive value to improve patient selection for palliative treatment. The purpose of this study is to assess the prognostic and predictive value of specific ci-miRNAs in plasma of patients with EC and GC treated with first-line palliative gemcitabine and cisplatin. Droplet digital PCR (ddPCR) was used to quantify miR-200c-3p, miR-375, miR-21-5p, miR-148a-3p, miR-146a-5p, miR-141-3p and miR-218-5p in plasma from 68 patients. ci-miRNA expression was analyzed in relation to overall survival (OS), progression-free survival (PFS), and response to chemotherapy. ci-miRNA levels were detectable in 36 baseline (71%) samples and in 14 (47%) follow-up samples. Increased circulating miR-200c-3p in GC showed a trend (p = 0.06) towards a shorter OS. High circulating miR-375 was associated with a longer OS (p = 0.02) in patients with esophageal adenocarcinoma (EAC). No significant difference was observed in ci-miRNA expression between paired pre- and on-treatment samples. ci-miRNA expression was not associated with response to chemotherapy. ci-miRNAs can be measured in plasma samples of patients treated with first-line palliative chemotherapy using ddPCR despite prolonged storage in heparin. Elevated circulating miR-375 might be a prognostic marker for patients with EAC.
Original languageEnglish
Article number100371
JournalCancer Treatment and Research Communications
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2021

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