Background: Barrett's esophagus (BE) is a disease with a rising prevalence in western countries probably due to the unhealthy lifestyle. In significant number of cases it develops to esophageal adenocarcinoma. Two decades ago, important gene regulators (microRNAs) were discovered and their attendance in the process of malignant transformation was demonstrated (e.g. miR-192, 196a, 203). Our aim was to select the patients with the increased risk of malignant transformation before the cancer develops.
Methods: 71 patients with BE disease were selected, slides from FFPE blocks were prepared, the lesions were microdissected and a qPCR relative expression analysis for selected microRNAs (generally known to be connected with malignant transformation process) was carried out.
Results: We demonstrated unequivocal statistically significant upregulation of two microRNAs (miR-192, 196a) and downregulation of miR-203 and positive miR-196a correlation with progression from intestinal metaplasia to adenocarcinoma compared to normal individuals.
Conclusions: We hypothesize that there do exist changes of selected microRNAs which can undoubtedly distinguish the patients with BE from normal healthy individuals.