The long non coding RNA H19 as a biomarker for breast cancer diagnosis in Lebanese women

Sci Rep. 2020 Dec 17;10(1):22228. doi: 10.1038/s41598-020-79285-z.


Breast cancer is the most common cancer in women worldwide. Minimally invasive percutaneous image-guided biopsies are the current cornerstone in the diagnosis of breast lesions detected on mammography/ultrasonography/MRI or palpable clinically. However, apparently benign breast disease seen on benign biopsies is a limiting factor for diagnosis and a risk factor of breast cancer especially in the high-risk category patients. Hypothesizing that molecular changes often occur before morphological variations, the levels of the LncRNA H19 were measured in anonymous tissues obtained from 79 women's image guided breast biopsies, and correlated with cancer progression and aggressiveness. Using a double-blinded approach, H19 might be attributed an interesting role of a more sensitive biomarker in core breast biopsies, independently of the radiological/clinical classification and distant from the clinical management. We established different thresholds for H19 levels in normal versus proliferative, versus malignant tissues. Additionnally, H19 could act as an intra-group risk marker categorizing the biopsies in normal versus benign, versus precancerous breast tissue, and as a prognostic factor in cancerous lesions discriminating aggressive versus nonaggressive lesions. Our study suggests that the lncRNA H19 could be a potential marker for breast cancer diagnosis, prognosis and risk management.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Biomarkers, Tumor*
  • Breast Neoplasms / diagnosis*
  • Breast Neoplasms / genetics*
  • Cell Line, Tumor
  • Disease Susceptibility
  • Female
  • Fibrocystic Breast Disease
  • Gene Expression Regulation, Neoplastic
  • Humans
  • Lebanon
  • Mammography
  • Neoplasm Grading
  • Neoplasm Staging
  • Prognosis
  • RNA, Long Noncoding*
  • Risk Factors


  • Biomarkers, Tumor
  • H19 long non-coding RNA
  • RNA, Long Noncoding