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Aberrant MicroRNA Expression in Patients With Endometrial Cancer
  1. Martina Montagnana, MD*,
  2. Marco Benati, BS*,
  3. Elisa Danese, PhD*,
  4. Silvia Giudici, MD,
  5. Melissa Perfranceschi, BS*,
  6. Orazio Ruzzenenete, BS*,
  7. Gian Luca Salvagno, MD*,
  8. Antonella Bassi, MD,
  9. Matteo Gelati, BS*,
  10. Elisa Paviati, BS*,
  11. Gian Cesare Guidi, MD*,
  12. Massimo Franchi, MD and
  13. Giuseppe Lippi, MD*
  1. *Sections of Clinical Biochemistry and
  2. Sections of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, University of Verona; and
  3. Sections of Laboratory of Clinical Chemistry and Hematology, University Hospital of Verona, Verona, Italy.
  1. Address correspondence and reprint requests to Martina Montagnana, MD, Sezione di Biochimica Clinica, Dipartimento di Scienze Neurologiche, Biomediche e del Movimento, Ospedale Policlinico G.B. Rossi, Piazzale Scuro, 10, 37134, Verona, Italy. E-mail:


Objective Current evidence suggests that no single serum biomarker displays satisfactory diagnostic performance in patients with endometrial carcinoma (EC), the most frequent gynecological cancer in developed countries. However, aberrant tissue microRNA (miRNA) expression has been recently described in EC. Therefore, this study aimed to investigate the differential expression of 4 serum miRNAs and their association with CA125 (cancer antigen 125) and HE4 (human epididymis protein 4) in EC patients and in a control population.

Methods Forty-six consecutive women with EC and 28 matched control subjects without a history of cancer or other diseases were enrolled. Total serum RNA was extracted using mirVana PARIS Kit. TaqMan MicroRNA Assay was used for quantitative real-time reverse transcriptase–polymerase chain reaction on ABI 7500 Sequence Detection System to assess differential miRNAs expression. The relative expression levels of 4 miRNAs (miR-222, miR-223, miR-186, and miR-204) were normalized to miR-16 and calculated using the 2-△Ct approach.

Results Serum levels of miR-186, miR-222, and miR-223 appeared to be significantly higher in patients compared with control subjects (P = 0.004, P = 0.002, and P < 0.0001). Contrarily, serum miR-204 was found to be significantly lower in EC patients (P < 0.0001). The diagnostic performance of miRNAs was found to be significantly better than that of CA125. Among the various biomarker tested, serum miR-204 and HE4 exhibited the best diagnostic performance for discriminating EC patients from control subjects.

Conclusions These results underpin that the 4 miRNAs that we have investigated are implicated in development and progression of EC, thus opening new avenues in EC diagnostics.

  • Biomarkers
  • Endometrial cancer
  • HE4
  • MicroRNAs

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  • The authors declare no conflicts of interest.