What is a micro-RNA?
miRNAs (miRNA) are small 19 to 25 nucleotides, noncoding RNAs that negative regulate gene expression posttranscriptionally by inhibiting translation or degrading mRNAs. miRNAs control biologic processes such as cell proliferation, differentiation, angiogenesis, and apoptosis. miRNAs are involved in the occurrence of many types of cancer.
Click here to learn more about the formation and function of miRNAs.
Why study miR-31-3p in lung cancer?
miR-31-3p is a miRNA that has previously been demonstrated to predict response to anti-EGFR (epidermal growth factor receptor) in patients with metastatic colorectal cancer (link). Since the EGFR pathway has also been shown to be involved with lung cancer, IntegraGen has recently studied the expression level of miR-31-3p from tumors of patients with advanced lung cancer to determine the association of these expression levels with EGFR tyrosine kinase inhibitors (TKI) effect, a class of compounds which is utilized clinically as a targeted therapy for lung cancer which selectively target molecular pathways involved in the development of cancerous tumors of the lung.
Clinical studies with miR-31-3p in Lung Cancer
IntegraGen recently completed a post-hoc analysis of patients enrolled in two prospective, randomized controlled phase II trials of EGFR TKIs in patients with non-resectable pneumonic adenocarcinoma which were conducted by the French Cooperative Thoracic Intergroup (IFCT). An analysis of the expression of miR-31-3p from tumors of patients with advanced non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) enrolled in these studies indicated that the expression of miR-31-3p:
- Correlates with the histological type of the lung tumor, with a higher expression of the biomarker in mucinous type lung cancers,
- Allows to identify patients with a shorter progression-free survival,
- Is associated with survival and disease control rate.
The results of this study provide initial evidence that patients with low expression levels of miR-31-3p may preferentially benefit from EGFR TKI therapy, especially patients with non-mucinous type adenocarcinoma of the lung. Similar to previous studies in colorectal cancer, miR-31-3p appears to be a biomarker which may aid clinicians in personalizing the care of lung cancer patients while also helping to avoid the use of ineffective drug therapies and their associated side effects and costs.
IntegraGen is currently exploring follow-up validation studies with the miR-31-3p biomarker in lung cancer patients.
Scientific Data on miR-31-3p in lung cancer.
- Thiebaut R. Wislez M. Vazart C. Decaulne V. Mazieres J. Friard S. Merle P. Morin F. Liebaert F. Cadranel J. miR31-3p expression in patients with advanced lepidic adenocarcinoma (L-ADC) treated with EGFR TKI in IFCT 0401 and 0504 trials – ELCC 2015