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Detection of recurrences using serum miR-371a-3p during active surveillance in men with stage I testicular germ cell tumours

Journal Paper/Review - Dec 15, 2021

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Citation
Fankhauser C, Beyer J, Moch H, Gillessen S, Lorch A, Hirschi-Blickenstorfer A, Templeton A, Grogg J, Grossmann N, Wettstein M, Cathomas R, Rothermundt C, Christiansen A, Hermanns T. Detection of recurrences using serum miR-371a-3p during active surveillance in men with stage I testicular germ cell tumours. Br J Cancer 2021
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Journal Paper/Review (English)
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Br J Cancer 2021
Publication Date
Dec 15, 2021
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1532-1827
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BACKGROUND
MiR-371a-3p predicts the presence of a macroscopic non-teratomatous germ cell tumour (GCT). We hypothesised that miR-371a-3p can also detect recurrence during active surveillance (AS) of stage I GCT.

METHODS
We prospectively collected serum samples of 33 men. Relative expression of serum miR-371a-3p levels was determined at each follow-up visit using real-time quantitative reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction.

RESULTS
Recurrence was detected using standard follow-up investigations in 10/33 patients (30%) after a median of 7 months. Directly after orchiectomy, miR-371a-3p levels were not elevated in any of the 15 patients with available post-orchiectomy samples. However, all ten recurring patients exhibited increasing miR-371a-3p levels during follow-up, while miR-371a-3p levels remained non-elevated in all but one patient without recurrence. MiR-371a-3p detected recurrences at a median of 2 months (range 0-5) earlier than standard follow-up investigations.

CONCLUSIONS
MiR-371a-3p levels immediately post orchiectomy are not predictive for recurrences and unfortunately cannot support decision-making for AS vs. adjuvant treatment. However, miR-371a-3p detects recurrences reliably and earlier than standard follow-up investigations. If this can be confirmed in larger cohorts, monitoring miR-371a-3p could replace surveillance imaging in seminomatous GCT and reduce the amount of imaging in non-seminomatous GCT. Earlier detection of disease recurrence may also reduce the overall treatment burden.