Background: Neoadjuvant chemotherapy (NACT) is an increasingly used approach for treatment of breast cancer. The pathological complete response (pCR) is considered a good predictor of disease-specific survival. This study investigated whether circulating exosomal microRNAs could predict pCR in breast cancer patients treated with NACT. Method: Plasma samples of 20 breast cancer patients treated with NACT were collected prior to and after the first cycle. RNA sequencing was used to determine microRNA profiling. The Cancer Genome Atlas (TCGA) was used to explore the expression patterns and survivability of the candidate miRNAs, and their potential targets based on the expression levels and copy number variation (CNV) data. Results: Three miRNAs before that NACT (miR-30b, miR-328 and miR-423) predicted pCR in all of the analyzed samples. Upregulation of miR-127 correlated with pCR in triple-negative breast cancer (TNBC). After the first NACT dose, pCR was predicted by exo-miR-141, while miR-34a, exo-miR182, and exo-miR-183 predicted non-pCR. A significant correlation between the candidate miRNAs and the overall survival, subtype, and metastasis in breast cancer, suggesting their potential role as predictive biomarkers of pCR. Conclusions: If the miRNAs identified in this study are validated in a large cohort of patients, they might serve as predictive non-invasive liquid biopsy biomarkers for monitoring pCR to NACT in breast cancer.
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Todorova, Valentina K., Stephanie D. Byrum, Allen J. Gies, Cade Haynie, Hunter Smith, Nathan S. Reyna, and Issam Makhoul. "Circulating Exosomal microRNAs as Predictive Biomarkers of Neoadjuvant Chemotherapy Response in Breast Cancer," Current Oncology (2022) 29, no. 2: 613-630. https://doi.org/10.3390/curroncol29020055