Friday, July 10, 2020

Prospective Assessment of Systemic MicroRNAs as Markers of Response to Neoadjuvant Chemotherapy in Breast Cancer Cancers

Levels of indicated miRNAs in the specified breast cancer subtypes. No significant association between the target miRNA level and any breast cancer subtype was found. Luminal, n = 57; Luminal B Her2, n = 20; Her2+, n = 14; Triple negative, n = 23.

This study, run with Clinical Trials Ireland (in many hospitals across Ireland) was led by former PhD students Dr Andrew McGuire, Dr Maire Caitlin Casey (both supervised by Dr James Brown) and Dr Ronan Waldron. The project investigated if the levels of specific biomarkers found in the blood of breast cancer patients blood (called microRNA) were able to predict how well chemotherapy treatment given before surgery (called neoadjuvant chemotherapy ) killed tumour cells. Patients who responded well to neoadjuvant chemotherapy had low levels of specific microRNA in their blood. In addition, some microRNA markers associated with a good response were only found in patients with certain breast cancer subtypes.

This work again demonstrates the driving idea, that microRNA biomarkers found in breast cancer patients blood can be easily extracted and used to predict how well (or not) patients will respond to neoadjuvant chemotherapy. 

The full paper is available here.

James Brown is a Lecturer in the Department of Biological Sciences @ UL.


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