Plasma microrna levels following resection of metastatic melanoma

Nicholas Latchana, Zachary B. Abrams, J. Harrison Howard, Kelly Regan, Naduparambil Jacob, Paolo Fadda, Alicia Terando, Joseph Markowitz, Doreen Agnese, Philip Payne, William E. Carson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

17 Scopus citations


Melanoma remains the leading cause of skin cancer–related deaths. Surgical resection and adjuvant therapies can result in disease-free intervals for stage III and stage IV disease; however, recurrence is common. Understanding microRNA (miR) dynamics following surgical resection of melanomas is critical to accurately interpret miR changes suggestive of melanoma recurrence. Plasma of 6 patients with stage III (n = 2) and stage IV (n = 4) melanoma was evaluated using the NanoString platform to determine pre- and postsurgical miR expression profiles, enabling analysis of more than 800 miRs simultaneously in 12 samples. Principal component analysis detected underlying patterns of miR expression between pre- vs postsurgical patients. Group A contained 3 of 4 patients with stage IV disease (pre- and postsurgical samples) and 2 patients with stage III disease (postsurgical samples only). The corresponding preoperative samples to both individuals with stage III disease were contained in group B along with 1 individual with stage IV disease (pre- and postsurgical samples). Group A was distinguished from group B by statistically significant analysis of variance changes in miR expression (P <.0001). This analysis revealed that group A vs group B had downregulation of let-7b-5p, miR-520f, miR-720, miR-4454, miR-21-5p, miR-22-3p, miR-151a-3p, miR-378e, and miR-1283 and upregulation of miR-126-3p, miR-223-3p, miR-451a, let-7a-5p, let-7g-5p, miR-15b-5p, miR-16-5p, miR-20a-5p, miR-20b-5p, miR-23a-3p, miR-26a-5p, miR-106a-5p, miR-17-5p, miR-130a-3p, miR-142-3p, miR-150-5p, miR-191-5p, miR-199a-3p, miR-199b-3p, and miR-1976. Changes in miR expression were not readily evident in individuals with distant metastatic disease (stage IV) as these individuals may have prolonged inflammatory responses. Thus, inflammatory-driven miRs coinciding with tumor-derived miRs can blunt anticipated changes in expression profiles following surgical resection.

Original languageEnglish
Article number1177932217694837
JournalBioinformatics and Biology Insights
StatePublished - Feb 23 2017


  • Melanoma
  • MicroRNA
  • Principal component analysis
  • Surgical resection


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