Esophageal adenocarcinoma (EAC) is an aggressive cancer necessitating the development of improved risk stratification tools for personalized care. Previously, microRNAs have been shown to correlate with the progression and prognosis of various cancer types; however, the value in EAC remains largely unexplored. We performed global microRNA profiling on 32 formalin-fixed, paraffin-embedded EAC specimens to identify microRNAs associated with progression. Literature search and pathway analysis further refined output to five significantly deregulated candidate biomarkers. Four of the five microRNAs (miR-652-5p, miR-7-2-3p, miR-3925-3p, and miR-219-3p) were validated by qRT-PCR. Survival outcomes were evaluated in testing set of 26 stage II/III EAC patients to determine the prognostic relevance of the selected microRNAs. In the testing set, miR-652-5p and miR-7-2-3p expressions were significantly associated with progression-free survival (p-value = .00771 and p-value = .00293). The highest area under receiver operating characteristic (ROC) curve was 0.8212 for the combination of miR-652-5p and miR-7-2-3p. Collectively, our findings demonstrated that the miR-652-5p/miR-7-2-3p signature may serve as a promising prognostic marker in patients with locally advanced EAC.
Keywords: esophageal adenocarcinoma; miR-652-5p; miR-7-2-3p; miRNA; prognostic marker.