Boldrup L, Troiano G, Gu X, Coates P, Fåhraeus R, Wilms T, Norberg-Spaak L, Wang L, Nylander K
Oncotarget 8 (61) 103437-103448 [2017-11-28; online 2017-09-30]
Despite intense research, squamous cell carcinoma of the tongue remains a devastating disease with a five-year survival of around 60%. Late detection and recurrence are the main causes for poor survival. The identification of circulating factors for early diagnosis and/or prognosis of cancer is a rapidly evolving field of interest, with the hope of finding stable and reliable markers of clinical significance. The aim of this study was to evaluate circulating miRNAs and proteins as potential factors for distinguishing patients with tongue squamous cell carcinoma from healthy controls. Array-based profiling of 372 miRNAs in plasma samples showed broad variations between different patients and did not show any evidence for their use in diagnosis of tongue cancer. Although one miRNA, miR-150, was significantly down-regulated in plasma from patients compared to controls. Surprisingly, the corresponding tumor tissue showed an up-regulation of miR-150. Among circulating proteins, 23 were identified as potential markers of squamous cell carcinoma of the tongue. These findings imply that circulating proteins are a more promising source of biomarkers for tongue squamous cell carcinomas than circulating miRNAs. The data also highlight that circulating markers are not always directly associated with tumor cell properties.