A previous study has demonstrated the roles of microRNA-148a (miR-148a) on apoptosis of bladder cancer cells. The goal of this study was to investigate whether the miR-148a expression level could serve as a new biomarker for the prognosis of bladder cancer patients. We collected a total of 126 bladder cancer samples. The expression level of miR-148a was determined with quantitative real-time polymerase chain reaction (qRT-PCR). Kaplan-Meier method was used to analyze the overall survival. Cox regression analysis was further used to identify prognostic factors. The expression levels of miR-148a in bladder cancer tissues were identified (1.5 ± 0.3; P < 0.001). The bladder cancer patients in the low-expression group more frequently had a high tumor grade (P = 0.025), increased tumor recurrence (P = 0.002), and advanced lymph node (LN) metastasis (P = 0.001). Patient survival analysis revealed a clear positive correlation between miR-148a expression level and survival time of bladder cancer patients (P = 0.005, log-rank = 7.714). In univariate Cox proportional hazards regression analysis, we found that a low-expression level of miR-148a (P = 0.018), tumor grade (P = 0.006), lymph node metastasis (P = 0.001), and recurrence (P < 0.001) were associated with the prognosis of bladder cancer. In multivariate analysis, we found that miR-148a expression (RR = 0.206, 95 % CI 0.095-0.813, P = 0.029), tumor grade (RR = 0.714, 95 % CI 0.224-0.958, P = 0.714), lymph node metastasis (RR = 6.604, 95 % CI 3.192-12.547, P < 0.001), and recurrence (RR = 15.126, 95 % CI 6.714-22.025, P < 0.001) retained significance as an independent prognostic factor of bladder cancer survival (Table 3). All results have showed that miR-148a expression was decreased in bladder cancer specimens and reduced miR-148a expression was associated with poorer survival time, indicating that miR-148a may become a candidate factor for predicting the prognosis of bladder cancer.
Keywords: Bladder cancer; Prognosis; Survival; miR-148a.