MiR-34b is associated with clinical outcome in triple-negative breast cancer patients

Diagn Pathol. 2012 Mar 22;7:31. doi: 10.1186/1746-1596-7-31.


Background: Breast cancer is the most common malignancy with the highest incidence rates among women worldwide. Triple-negative breast cancer (TNBC) represents the major phenotype of basal-like molecular subtype of breast cancer, characterized by higher incidence in young women and a very poor prognosis. MicroRNAs (miRNAs) are small non-coding RNAs playing significant role in the pathogenesis of many cancers including breast cancer. Therefore, miRNAs are also potential prognostic and/or predictive biomarkers in triple-negative breast cancer patients.

Methods: Thirty-nine TNBC patients with available formalin-fixed paraffin-embedded (FFPE) tissues were enrolled in the study. MiR-34a, miR-34b, and miR-34c were analyzed using qRT-PCR and correlated to clinico-pathological features of TNBC patients.

Results: Expression levels of miR-34b significantly correlate with disease free survival (DFS) (p = 0.0020, log-rank test) and overall survival (OS) (p = 0.0008, log-rank test) of TNBC patients. No other significant associations between miR-34a, miR-34b, and miR-34c with available clinical pathological data were observed.

Conclusions: MiR-34b expression negatively correlates with disease free survival and overall survival in TNBC patients. Thus, miR-34b may present a new promising prognostic biomarker in TNBC patients, but independent validations are necessary.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Biomarkers, Tumor / genetics*
  • Breast Neoplasms / genetics*
  • Breast Neoplasms / mortality
  • Breast Neoplasms / pathology
  • Disease-Free Survival
  • Female
  • Gene Expression Regulation, Neoplastic
  • Humans
  • Kaplan-Meier Estimate
  • MicroRNAs / analysis
  • MicroRNAs / genetics*
  • Middle Aged
  • Prognosis
  • Proportional Hazards Models
  • Real-Time Polymerase Chain Reaction
  • Receptor, ErbB-2 / biosynthesis
  • Receptor, ErbB-2 / genetics
  • Receptors, Estrogen / biosynthesis
  • Receptors, Estrogen / genetics
  • Receptors, Progesterone / biosynthesis
  • Receptors, Progesterone / genetics
  • Reverse Transcriptase Polymerase Chain Reaction


  • Biomarkers, Tumor
  • MIRN34 microRNA, human
  • MicroRNAs
  • Receptors, Estrogen
  • Receptors, Progesterone
  • Receptor, ErbB-2