Predicting treatment response in endometrial cancer with genetic markers
The process by which proteins are made from ribonucleic acid (RNA) molecules is called translation, and is a process that is constantly regulated in different biological way. One way to regulate protein translation is by binding and degrading RNA molecules with small complementary bits of RNA, known as microRNA (miRNA), so that proteins cannot be made. Recent findings have shown that changes in the way miRNAs usually work to regulate translation are associated with a number of human diseases, including cancer.
A team of researchers from the University of Oklahoma analyzed the profiles of miRNA in endometrial cancer, a type of cancer that begins in the uterus lining of the uterus and is resistant to treatment. They undertook the research to try to find ways to predict treatment response in endometrial cancer with genetic markers. They identified a set of miRNAs that may serve as helpful indicators for the diagnosis and prognosis of endometrial cancer, according to a study published in Genes & Cancer.
Analyzing micro RNAs in endometrial cancer samples
The researchers studied samples of endometrial cancer cells from 84 patients and divided them by those whose cancer responded to chemotherapy and those whose cancer progressed. In the patients who survived without disease progression, they found that three miRNAs (miR-142-3p, miR-142-5p, and miR-15a-5p) that are known to suppress tumors were highly activated compared to the control group. They also observed a cluster of tumor-suppressing miRNAs––miR-142 and miR-15a––that may predict if the endometrial cancer would be susceptible to treatment.
Researchers say that their newly identified panel of miRNAs are potential biology-based tags, or biomarkers, in endometrial cancers, but further studies are needed to define how the miRNAs confer clinical advantage to patients with endometrial cancer.