Assessment of Circulating miRNA-17 and miRNA-222 Expression Profiles as Non-Invasive Biomarkers in Egyptian Patients with Non-Small-Cell Lung Cancer

Document Type : Research Articles


1 Department of Internal Medicine, University of Cincinnati College of Medicine, Cincinnati, OH, USA.

2 Department of Medical Microbiology and Immunology, Faculty of Medicine, Assiut University, Assiut, Egypt.

3 Department of Clinical Pathology, South Egypt Cancer Institute, Assiut, Egypt.

4 Department of Medical Biochemistry, Faculty of Medicine, Assiut University, Egypt.

5 Department of clinical oncology, Faculty of Medicine, Sohag University, Egypt.

6 Department of Chest Diseases and Tuberculosis, Faculty of Medicine, Sohag University, Egypt.

7 Sohag university medical adminstartion,Sohag, Egypt.

8 Department of Clinical Pathology, Faculty of Medicine, Assiut University, Egypt.

9 Department of Cardiothoracic Surgery, Assiut University Hospital, Assiut University, Egypt.

10 Central Research Facility, Sri Ramachandra Medical College and Research Institute, Sri Ramachandra University, Chennai, India.


Background: Lung cancer is one of the main human health threats. Survival of lung cancer patients depends on the
timely detection and diagnosis. Among the genetic irregularities that control cancer development and progression, there
are microRNAs (miRNAs). This study aimed to assess the plasma level of circulating miRNA-17 and miRNA-222 as
non-invasive markers in non-small-cell lung cancer (NSCLC) patients. Patients and methods: A total of 40 patients
with NSCLC and 20 healthy controls who were matched in terms of age and sex with the patient group were included
in this case-control study.. Estimation of miRNA-17 and miRNA-222 expression profiles in the plasma was done
using quantitative real-time PCR (qRT-PCR). The relationship between both markers and their clinicopathological
features were also determined. Receiver operating characteristic (ROC) curve analysis was done to evaluate the role of
these microRNAs in NSCLC diagnosis and follow-up. Results: MiRNA-17 and miRNA-222 levels were significantly
upregulated in NSCLC patients compared with controls (48.32±12.35 vs 1.16±0.19 and 34.53±3.1 vs 1.22±0.14)
(P=0.000). Plasma miRNA-17 level was increased, and the miRNA-222 level was decreased across different stages of
the disease; however, these differences d were not statistically significant (P=0.4, P=0.5, respectively). The miRNA-17
levels were higher in the lung cancer patients with metastasis , but miRNA-222 levels were lower patients without
metastasis. We found no statistically significant difference in this regard(P=0.4 vs P=0.3, respectively). ROC curve
analysis showed that the sensi‌tivity and specificity of miRNA-17 were 77.78% and 87.50% , and of miRNA-222 were
50% and 88.89%. Conclusion: MiRNA-17 and miRNA-222 can be considered as non-invasive biomarkers for detection
of early lung carcinogenesis and metastasis in patients with NSCLC, hence providing a basis for the development of
novel therapeutic approaches.


Main Subjects