Circulating MiRNA-373 as a Predictor of Response to Super-selective Transarterial Chemoembolization Bridging Therapy in Hepatocellular Carcinoma Patients Awaiting Liver Transplantation

Document Type : Research Articles


1 Department of Chemical Pathology, Medical Research Institute, Alexandria University, Egypt.

2 Department of Clinical and Chemical Pathology, Faculty of Medicine, Alexandria University, Egypt.

3 Department of Diagnostic and Interventional Radiology, Faculty of Medicine, Alexandria University, Egypt.


Background: Super selective transarterial chemoembolization (TACE) has emerged as a bridging therapy for early hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) patients awaiting liver transplantation. This study aimed at assessing the expression profiles of circulating MiR-210 and MiR-373 as potential predictors of response to TACE bridging therapy in a group of Egyptian HCC cases on top of chronic hepatitis-C infection, awaiting liver transplantation. Methods: Fifty-three HCC cases awaiting liver transplantation referred for TACE, were followed up for three months, resulting in forty-five responders and eight non-responders based on modified response evaluation criteria in solid tumors (mRECIST). Circulating pre TACE MiR-210 and MiR-373 expressions were determined using reverse transcription quantitative polymerase chain reaction. Results: Circulating pre TACE MiR-373, but not MiR-210, was significantly higher in non-responders than responders. Receiver operating characteristics (ROC) curve analysis of MiR-373, pre-TACE tumor volume, inflammatory score, and albumin bilirubin (ALBI) grade revealed highest sensitivity for pre-TACE tumor volume (cutoff>11.49 cm3) and highest specificity for pre-TACE MiR-373 (cutoff>1.46-fold change). Multivariate logistic regression revealed pre TACE MiR-373 as a significant independent predictor of TACE response after adjusting for pre TACE tumor volume. Conclusion: Circulating pre-TACE MiR-373 could assist as a noninvasive predictor marker of response to TACE bridging therapy in early HCC patients awaiting liver transplantation.


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