Usefulness of microRNA detection in the diagnostics of endometrial cancer

Hannah Donkers, Marc Hirschfeld, Daniela Weiss, Thalia Erbes, Markus Jaeger, Johanna M. A. Pijnenborg, Ruud Bekkers, Khadra Galaal*, ENITEC Consortium

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


Introduction MicroRNAs (miRNAs) are noncoding RNAs that regulate gene expression and contribute to the development of cancer. They have been shown to be stable in tissue samples and may be promising diagnostic biomarkers for endometrial cancer.

Material and methods A retrospective cohort study of women diagnosed with endometrial cancer between January 2017 and December 2017 was performed at the Royal Cornwall Hospital. Archived formalin-fixed paraffin-embedded samples were obtained from patients with endometrial cancer and healthy women. MicroRNA was isolated and quantitative real-time polymerase chain reaction was used to detect expression levels of miRNAs.

Results A total of 76 women were included: 36 endometrial cancer patients, 40 healthy controls. A distinct panel of miR-200a, miR-200b, miR-200c, miR-205, and miR-182 showed an area under the curve of 0.958, sensitivity 92%, specificity 89%, positive predictive value of 89% (95% CI 82%-94%) and negative predictive value of 91% (95% CI 85%-96%) in diagnosing endometrial cancer. High miR-182 expression levels were significantly related to high-grade endometrioid tumors compared with low-grade tumors.

Conclusions We demonstrated high diagnostic accuracy of miRNA for detecting endometrial cancer. In addition, miRNA contributed to an improvement in distinguishing between high-grade and low-grade endometrioid tumors.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1148-1154
Number of pages7
JournalActa Obstetricia et Gynecologica Scandinavica
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2021


  • diagnostic tests
  • early detection of cancer
  • endometrial cancer
  • microRNAs
  • uterine cancer


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