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MicroRNA Signatures In Malignant Pleural Mesothelioma Effusions

Kimberly A. Birnie, Cecilia M. Prêle, Arthur W. (Bill) Musk, Nicholas de Klerk, Y. C. Gary Lee, Deirdre Fitzgerald, Richard J. N. Allcock, Philip J. Thompson, Jenette Creaney, Bahareh Badrian, Steven E. Mutsaers

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Malignant pleural mesothelioma (MPM) is an incurable cancer of the pleura that can be difficult to diagnose. Biomarkers for an easier and/or earlier diagnosis are needed. Approximately 90% of MPM patients develop a pleural effusion (PE). PEs are ideal sources of biomarkers as the fluid would almost always require drainage for diagnostic and/or therapeutic reasons. However, differentiating MPM PE from PE caused by other diseases can be challenging. MicroRNAs are popular biomarkers given their stable expression in tissue and fluid. MicroRNAs have been analysed in PE cytology samples for the diagnosis of MPM but have not been measured in frozen/fresh PE. We hypothesise that microRNAs expressed in PE are biomarkers for MPM. TaqMan OpenArray was used to analyse over 700 microRNAs in PE cells and supernatants from 26 MPMs and 21 other PE-causing diseases. In PE cells, combining miR-143, miR-210, and miR-200c could differentiate MPM with an area under the curve (AUC) of 0.92. The three-microRNA signature could also discriminate MPM from a further 40 adenocarcinomas with an AUC of 0.9887. These results suggest that the expression of miR-143, miR-210, and miR-200c in PE cells might provide a signature for diagnosing MPM.