HealthDay News — MicroRNAs (miR-203 and miR-205) could be useful prognostic markers in cutaneous squamous cell carcinoma, with distinct expression and associations, according to a study published online December 11 in the British Journal of Dermatology.

Javier Cañueto, MD, PhD, from the Hospital Universitario de Salamanca in Spain, and colleagues examined the expression pattern of miRNAs at different stages of skin cancer progression in a panel of murine skin cancer cell lines. Noting that miR-203 and miR-205 were differentially expressed in the panel, the authors examined their potential as prognostic biomarkers in human tumors. 

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The researchers found that miR-205 was expressed in tumors with pathological features indicating poor prognosis, such as desmoplasia, perineural invasion, and a pattern of infiltrative growth. miR-205 expression was mainly in undifferentiated areas and in the invasion front and correlated with local recurrence and the development of general clinical events of poor evolution. In multinomial logistic regression, miR-205 expression was an independent variable selected to predict events of poor clinical evolution. miR-203 was mainly expressed in tumors with characteristics correlating with good prognosis, was primarily expressed in well-differentiated zones, and was rarely expressed in the invasion front. miR-203 and miR-205 expression and associations were mostly mutually exclusive. Three clusters of patients were identified with differential prognosis based on miR-203 and miR-205 expression and pathological tumor features.

“This work highlights the utility of miRNA-205 and miRNA-203 as prognostic markers in cutaneous squamous cell carcinoma,” the authors write.

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