Lower expression of tumor microRNA-26a is associated with higher recurrence in patients with hepatocellular carcinoma undergoing surgical treatment

Keaton R. Jones, Sarah C. Nabinger, Sangbin Lee, Smiti Snigdha Sahu, Sandra Althouse, Romil Saxena, Mathew S. Johnson, Naga Chalasani, Samer Gawrieh, Janaiah Kota

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3 Scopus citations


Background and Objectives: Hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) in patients with hepatitis B virus (HBV) exhibit lower tumor microRNA-26a (miR-26a) expression which is associated with worse outcomes. It is unknown if similar miR-26a loss occurs in HCC developed in other liver diseases. We examined tumor miR-26a expression and its impact on recurrence and mortality in a North American HCC cohort. Methods: MiR-26a levels from tumor and surrounding nontumor liver tissue in 186 subjects were collected. We defined lower tumor expression of miR-26a as <1-fold that of the adjacent nontumor liver tissue. Results: Viral hepatitis (42%; 40% hepatitis C and 2% HBV), alcohol (19%), and nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) (18%) were the most common causes of liver disease. The prevalence of lower tumor miR-26a expression was 68%, and it was evident in HCCs arising in all etiologies (viral hepatitis 60%, alcohol 61%, and NAFLD 76%). Subjects with lower tumor miR-26a expression had significantly higher tumor recurrence (hazard ratio [HR], 2.45; 95% confidence interval [CI], 1.18 to 5.1; P = 0.016) and higher mortality of borderline significance (HR, 1.51; 95% CI, 0.94 to 2.41; P = 0.086). Conclusion: Reduced miR-26a expression is a common phenomenon in HCC arising in North American patients with different underlying liver diseases and may increase recurrence and mortality after surgery.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)431-439
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Surgical Oncology
Issue number3
StatePublished - Sep 1 2018



  • biomarker
  • cirrhosis
  • hepatocellular carcinoma
  • liver diseases
  • microRNA-26

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Oncology

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