miR-152 may function as an early diagnostic and prognostic biomarker in patients with cervical intraepithelial neoplasia and patients with cervical cancer

Oncol Lett. 2019 Jun;17(6):5693-5698. doi: 10.3892/ol.2019.10233. Epub 2019 Apr 9.


Previous studies have demonstrated that circulating miRNAs are effective biomarkers of various types of cancer. It has also been indicated that miR-152 is upregulated in cervical cancer. However, whether miR-152 may be used as an early detection method for patients with cervical cancer is yet to be elucidated. The results of the current study demonstrated that miR-152 levels were the lowest in healthy controls, high in patients with cervical intraepithelial neoplasia (CIN), and the highest in patients with cervical cancer. Furthermore, miR-152 levels in peripheral blood were higher in patients with high-grade CIN compared with those with low-grade CIN. It was also demonstrated that miR-152 levels increased as the clinical stage of cervical cancer advanced. Compared with healthy controls, squamous cell carcinoma antigen (SSC-Ag) levels were significantly higher in patients with cervical cancer. However, no significant differences were identified in patients with CIN, indicating that SCC-Ag could not be used for the early detection of CIN. In contrast, miR-152 was elevated along with SCC-Ag in patients with CIN and cervical cancer. Receiver operating characteristic (ROC) analysis demonstrated that miR-152 preferentially distinguished patients with CIN (95% confidence interval, 0.688-0.973; P<0.001) and patients with cervical cancer (95% confidence interval, 0.817-0.996; P<0.001) from healthy controls. Additionally, miR-152 levels were markedly reduced in patients with cervical cancer who received chemotherapy (28 patients) or chemotherapy and radiation therapy (22 patients). In conclusion, the level of miR-153 in peripheral blood may be utilized as an effective biomarker for the early detection of cervical cancer, thus decreasing the requirement for invasive cervical biopsies. Furthermore, it may be utilized to predict the most effective form of treatment for patients with cervical cancer.

Keywords: cervical cancer; cervical intraepithelial neoplasia; early biomarker; microRNA-152.