Background: Gastric cancer is the second leading cause of cancer-related mortality and the fourth most common cancer globally. This study was conducted to evaluate the usefulness of miR-21 as a less invasive screening and prognostic marker in Gastric cancer patients from Sri Lanka. Further the H. pylori status was investigated.
Methods: Twenty patients who were diagnosed as having gastric cancer were enrolled along with the age sex matched healthy controls in this study. Specimens and clinicopathologic features of the patients were collected at 2 teaching hospitals. Circulating miR-21 levels in serum were quantified by real time PCR using miR-16 as a normalization control. The serum of each patient with gastric cancer was tested for the presence of lgG antibody to H. pylori.
Results: The age of the patients ranged between 45 to 79 years, with a median of 59 years. The peak incidence of tumors was seen in the fifth decade of life. Majority of the patients 60% (12/20) presented with non-cardia gastric cancer and 70% (14/20) of patients had intestinal type according to Lauren’s classification. The median miR-21 expression of gastric cancer group was found to be higher (0.79) than the healthy controls (0.586), although not significant. Proportion of H. pylori infection was high in gastric cancer patients (85%). No significant difference in expression levels of miRNA-21 was observed in gastric cancer patients who were positive or negative serologically for H. pylori.
Keywords: Gastric cancer, miRNA-21, Helicobacter pylori