Cancer Rep (Hoboken). 2022 Oct 23:e1722. doi: 10.1002/cnr2.1722. Online ahead of print.
BACKGROUND: In Iran, the delay in diagnosis and treatment of breast cancer results in low survival rates.
AIM: It is essential to characterize new therapeutic targets and prognostic breast cancer biomarkers. The rising evidence suggested that long non-coding RNAs (lncRNAs) expression levels are deregulated in human cancers and can use as biomarkers for the rapid diagnosis of breast cancer.
METHODS: In the present study, a quantitative real-time polymerase chain reaction (qRT-PCR) technique was used to measure 20 oncogenic and tumor suppressor lncRNAs expression levels in whole blood samples of female breast cancer patients and healthy women. Receiver operating characteristic curve (ROC) was used to assess the diagnostic value of each selected lncRNA as a biomarker.
RESULTS: The results revealed that some circulating lncRNAs (MEG3, NBAT1, NKILA, GAS5, EPB41L4A-AS2, Z38, and BC040587) were significantly down-regulated in breast cancer patients compared to healthy women. In contrast, other circulating lncRNAs (H19, SPRY4-IT1, XIST, UCA1, AC026904.1, CCAT1, CCAT2, ITGB2-AS, and AK058003) were significantly up-regulated in breast cancer patients compared to controls. It was shown that the expression levels of NKILA, and NBAT1 lncRNAs were related to tumor size, and BC040587 expression level related to age, node metastasis, tumor size, and grade (p < .05). The association between H19 and SPRY4-IT1 lncRNAs with HER-2 was confirmed statistically (p < .05). ROC curves illustrated that the blood levels of SPRY4-IT1, XIST, and H19 lncRNAs have excellent potential in discriminating breast cancer from the healthy controls, showing an AUC of 1.0 (95% CI 1.0-1.0, p = .00), 0.898 (95% CI 0.815-0.981, p = .00), and 0.848 (95% CI 0.701-0.995, p = .01), respectively.
CONCLUSION: In conclusion, the expression levels of circulating H19 and SPRY4-IT1 lncRNAs in breast cancer patients could consider as the prognostic biomarkers and therapeutic targets in breast cancer, because of their excellent power in discriminating breast cancer from healthy individuals and the significant correlation of H19, and SPRY4-IT1 lncRNAs with clinicopathological traits. We also suggest the possible application of BC040587 lncRNA as a diagnostic and prognostic indicator to assess tumor progression in case of verification in larger patients’ cohorts.