Objectives: MicroRNAs play a role in the development and progression of head and neck squamous cell carcinomas (HNSCC). Our aim was to study the expression of miR-26, miR-107, miR-125b, and miR-203 in primary HNSCC with and without lymph node metastasis and their clinicopathological significance. Materials and Methods: The expression of microRNAs in primary HNSCC with lymph node metastasis (n = 16) and their matched lymph node, as well as primary tumors without metastasis (n = 16), were determined by quantitative RT-PCR and analyzed with clinicopathological features and survival. Results: The expression levels of miR-26 (p <.05) and miR-125b (p <.01) were higher in metastatic primary HNSCC, while levels of miR-203 (p <.01) were lower. The expression of the microRNAs was associated with clinicopathological features, including miR-26 high expression and N stage (p =.04), poor differentiation (p =.005) and recurrence (p =.007), miR-125b high expression and N stage (p =.0005) and death (p =.02), and low levels of miR-203 and N stage (p =.04). The high expression of miR-26 was associated with shortened disease-free survival, and high miR-125b expression was an independent risk factor for poor disease-specific survival. Conclusions: These findings suggest that miR-26 and miR-125b may be associated with the progression and metastasis of HNSCC and that miR-203 is associated with a more favorable prognosis.
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- head and neck cancer
- lymphatic metastasis