By Marcos Arribas-Layton, PhD. June 7, 2016
Like many cancers, breast cancers are highly diverse with a range of distinct clinical outcomes. Breast cancers dependent on hormone signaling (ER/PR) or on EGF-receptor (HER2/neu) typically have the most positive prognosis. Tumors lacking these receptors expression, referred to as Triple Negative Breast Cancer (TNBC), currently have no targeted therapies available. Five-year survival rates plummet from nearly 99% for localized tumors to 24% in late stage cancers and therefore correct identification of breast cancer subtypes at early stage is critical for treatment effectiveness.
Researchers speculate that miRNAs are potential biomarker candidates for early detection and prognosis prediction, because dysregulation of miRNA has been widely reported in cancers1. Recent studies have tested miRNAs as predictive biomarkers for determining TNBC patient’s prognosis. A four-miRNA signature (miR-16, miR-125b, miR-155 and miR374a) correlated with shorter overall patient survival1. A different panel of four miRNAs (miR-27a, -30e, -155, and -493) could separate TNBC into two distinct subgroups, high risk “core basal” tumors (basal CK5/6-and/or EGFR-positive) compared to lower risk “5 negative” tumors (negative for all five markers; ER, PR, HER2, CK5/6 and EGFR) 1-2. These results may help doctors decide which TNBC patient may require more aggressive treatment.
In situ hybridization (ISH) assay is a powerful tool to determine altered miRNA expression in tumors, and to assess the contribution of reactive stroma and immune response to tumor progression. High levels of miR-21 expression in the stromal compartment in a cohort of 105 early-stage TNBC cases correlated with shorter recurrence-free survival3.
BioGenex is an industry leader in miRNA-ISH. Unlike PCR based techniques, BioGenex ISH system has the ability to generate robust chromogenic signal while preserving the spatial context of the tissue sample thus allowing precise tumor characterization. BioGenex offers over 200 miRNA probes together with ISH detection systems, and automation-based platforms, which allow high throughput and accurate detection of miRNAs in tissue samples. BioGenex’s unique miRNA probe technology enables detection of single nucleotide mismatch thus allowing high sensitivity and specificity with a clean intense staining.
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BioGenex designs, develops, and commercializes advanced fully-automated molecular pathology systems for cancer diagnosis, prognosis, personalized medicine, and life science research. The recent introduction of our eFISHency integrated workflow solution for FISH laboratories and miRNA system for characterization of CUP and for undifferentiated tumors is a game changer that has no rival in the industry. Our fully-automated molecular pathology workstations are the most advanced system globally. Our spirit of innovation drives us to deliver cutting edge technology, years ahead of our competition, and the finest systems for life Science research and diagnostics.
1Critical analysis of the potential for microRNA biomarkers in breast cancer management. Graveel CR, Calderone HM, Westerhuis JJ, Winn ME, Sempere LF, Breast Cancer: Targets and Therapy, 2015(7) 59-79 and references therein
2The Oncogenic microRNA-27a Targets Genes That Regulate Specificity Protein Transcription Factors and the G2-M Checkpoint in MDA-MB-231 Breast Cancer Cells.Mertens-Talcott SU, Chintharlapalli S, Li X, and Safe S, Cancer Research, 2007(67) 11001-11
3Circulating MicroRNA-21 Is Involved in Lymph Node Metastasis in Cervical Cancer by Targeting RASA1. Zhang L, Zhan X, Yan D, Wang Z, Int J Gynecol Cancer, 2016 Apr (in press)