The utilization of circulating microRNAs (miRNAs) as non-invasive diagnostic and predictive tools have become substantial and promising scope of cancer research. The link between the aberrant expressions of various miRNAs and the pathogenesis of diffuse large B-cell lymphoma (DLBCL) has been revealed by multiple studies. This study planned to investigate the relative expression levels of serum miRNA-21 and to demonstrate its potential prognostic impact in DLBCL patients who were treated by cyclophosphamide, doxorubicin, vincristine, prednisone plus rituximab (R-CHOP) protocol.
Polymerase chain reaction (PCR) based technique was used to analyze serum miRNA-21 relative expression levels in 65 DLBCL patients prior to immunochemotherapy in comparison with 35 healthy individuals. Receiver operating characteristic curve analysis was used to gauge the optimal miRNA-21 cutoff and Kaplan-Meier method was performed to estimate overall patients' survival.
Serum miRNA-21 overexpression was significantly observed in DLBCL patients compared to the control group (P < 0.001). MiRNA-21 expression levels were closely associated with stage, C-reactive protein (CRP), lactate dehydrogenase (LDH) and β2 microglobulin (P < 0.001; P = 0.02; P = 0.003; P < 0.001 respectively). However, there was no relationship with other characteristics, such as gender, age, B symptoms, extranodal site involvement, international prognostic index (IPI) and initial response to therapy (all Ps > 0.05). Overall survival was significantly worse in patients with high miRNA-21 expression levels compared to those with low expression levels (P = 0.01).
Serum miRNA-21 may be employed as valuable non-invasive diagnostic and prognostic marker in DLBCL patients treated with R-CHOP regimen.
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