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Disease Markers
Volume 2017 (2017), Article ID 9645940, 10 pages
Research Article

MicroRNA Expression in Malignant Pleural Mesothelioma and Asbestosis: A Pilot Study

1Molecular Genetics, Department of Medicine and Surgery, University of Parma, Parma, Italy
2Thoracic Surgery, Department of Medicine and Surgery, University of Parma, Parma, Italy
3Department of Medicine and Surgery, University of Parma, Parma, Italy
4Medical Oncology, University Hospital of Parma, Parma, Italy
5Pathological Anatomy and Histology, University Hospital of Parma, Parma, Italy

Correspondence should be addressed to Matteo Goldoni

Received 21 February 2017; Revised 21 May 2017; Accepted 5 June 2017; Published 3 July 2017

Academic Editor: Alvaro González

Copyright © 2017 Paola Mozzoni et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Background. The identification of diagnostic/prognostic biomarkers for asbestos-related diseases is relevant for early diagnosis and patient survival and may contribute to understanding the molecular mechanisms underlying the disease development and progression. Aims. To identify a pattern of miRNAs as possible diagnostic biomarkers for patients with malignant pleural mesothelioma (MPM) and asbestosis (ASB) and as prognostic biomarkers for MPM patients. Methods. miRNA-16, miRNA-17, miRNA-126, and miRNA-486 were quantified in plasma and formalin-fixed paraffin-embedded samples to evaluate their diagnostic and prognostic roles compared to patients with other noncancerous pulmonary diseases (controls). Results. The expression of all the miRNAs was significantly lower in patients with MPM and ASB than that in controls. miRNA-16, miRNA-17, and miRNA-486 in plasma and tissue of MPM patients were significantly correlated. Furthermore, the expression of miRNA-16 in plasma and tissue, and miRNA-486 only in tissue, was positively related with cumulative survival in MPM patients. Conclusions. All the miRNA levels were decreased in patients with MPM or ASB, supporting the role of circulating miRNAs as a potential tool for diseases associated with exposure to asbestos fibers. miRNA-16 was directly related to MPM patient prognosis, suggesting its possible use as a prognostic marker in MPM patients.