PCa represents a serious healthy problem among men, which ranks the most common malignancy diagnosed in males around the world . It is characterized by its high rates of mortality and complex biological heterogeneity . Since the specific characteristics of PCa, clinical challenges are presented to identify the cancer patients from healthy individuals. Despite the PSA has been widely used in diagnosis and prognosis of PCa, the outcomes of cancer patients remain dismal mainly due to the limitations of the available diagnostic methods . Thus, it is an urgent need to find novel and efficient diagnostic biomarkers for patients suffering from PCa. Current studies have highlighted the utilization of tumor related molecules for their diagnostic significance to improve the diagnosis of diverse cancers, and results in these studies demonstrated the pivotal role of diagnostic biomarker for cancer treatment [19, 20].
Among these diagnostic factors, miRNAs are considered as a class of crucial members, which have been investigated in a great deal of malignancies . Previous data revealed that various biological processes, such as proliferation, metastasis, invasion and apoptosis, can be regulated by miRNAs, indicating their potential function in cancer progression . The aberrant expression patterns of miRNAs have been found in lots of cancers, which suggested their role of tumor oncogene or suppressor [23, 24]. As a member of miRNAs, miR-372 has ever been assessed in different human cancers [25, 26]. For example, miR-372 was demonstrated to be correlated with proliferation and metastasis of hepatocellular carcinoma . Study by Chen and his colleagues revealed that miR-372 could regulate cancer cell invasion and proliferation of glioma according to target PHLPP2 . Given the results of previous studies, rarely data has been reported about clinical significance of miR-372 for patients with PCa. Therefore, we aimed at to explore the diagnostic performance of miR-372 via measuring its serum expression levels and various statistical analyses in PCa patients.
In the present study, the expression of miR-372 in the serum specimens collected from the PCa patients were examined by qRT-PCR. Student’s t test was adopted to compare the different miR-372 expression between the two groups. According these analyses, the downregulated miR-372 expression was detected in PCa serum specimens than that in the healthy controls. Furthermore, the relationship of miR-372 expression with clinicopathological characteristics of PCa patients was assessed with Chi-square test. The results revealed that there were closely correlation between miR-372 expression and lymph node metastasis, PSA concentration and TNM stage. Conversely, no influence was found for other parameters. The similar data has also been found in the previous study by Kong et al., which also found the downregulated expression of miR-372 in PCa serum samples . Our results might suggested that miR-372 represented a potential tumor suppressor for PCa and was involved in the cancer progression. Since the expression of miR-372 was abnormal in PCa serum and its potential functional role has ever been demonstrated in cancer cells, we further explored its clinicopathological significance in diagnosis of PCa through ROC analysis. The results suggested that miR-372 expression was a high sensitive and specific diagnostic biomarker to distinguish prostate cancer cases from healthy individuals.
Although we have investigated the expression pattern and diagnostic value of miR-372 in PCa patients, more further studies are still needed to confirm our findings. In the study of Yu et al., they showed that serum or tissue miR-372 levels were significantly up-regulated in CRC patients and it could be a noninvasive biomarker for the early detection and prognosis of CRC . Therefore, the role of miR-372 might be varying in different cancers.