Purpose: To investigate the relationship between the expression level of miR-34a in the serum of basal cell carcinoma patients and the clinical prognosis.
Methods: Eighty-six patients with basal cell carcinoma who underwent surgery from July 2011 to July 2013 were enrolled in the experimental group, and 85 healthy volunteers were selected from the physical examination department of Henan Province Luoyang Orthopedic Traumatological Hospital to serve as control group. Real-time PCR was used to detect the expression of miR-34a in the serum of the study subjects. Patients were divided into high- and low-expression groups according to the median expression levels of miR-34a. Survival analysis was performed using Kaplan-Meier method.
Results: Serum miR-34a levels were significantly lower in basal cell carcinoma patients than in healthy volunteers (p<0.001). The expression level of miR-34a was correlated with tumor cell diameter, lymph node metastasis and histological types of basal cell carcinoma (p<0.001). The expression of miR-34a was not associated with patients' age, primary site and the pathological type of tumors (p>0.05). Median progression-free survival of patients with high expression and low expression was 37 and 20 months, respectively (p<0.05). Median overall survival time was 44 and 31.5 months, respectively (p<0.05). Overall survival rate was 76.74% in the high expression group, significantly higher (p<0.05) compared with the low expression group. miR-34a was significantly underexpressed in basal cell carcinoma, and the prognosis of basal cell carcinoma patients with low expression levels of miR-34a was poor.
Conclusion: MiR-34a is expected to be an effective biomarker for basal cell carcinoma assessment and prognosis.