Single microRNA exhibits potential to forecast outcomes of MPM

Rosetta Genomics, Ltd. (NASDAQ: ROSG), a leading developer and provider of microRNA-based molecular diagnostics, announced today that the results of a joint study with the NYU Langone Medical Center were published online on February 16th, 2010, and are set to be published in the March 1st issue of the American Association for Cancer Research’s journal, Cancer Research. The study, “Hsa-Mir-29c* is Linked to the Prognosis of Malignant Pleural Mesothelioma,” demonstrates the potential of a single microRNA to act as an independent prognostic factor for time to progression as well as survival after surgery. The abstract of the study may be viewed online at:

“This is an exciting discovery which may have significant clinical impact on the treatment of MPM”

In the study, 142 MPM tumors were analyzed for microRNA expression levels using Rosetta Genomics’ proprietary microRNA-based array and qRT-PCR technologies. The results clearly demonstrate that higher levels of miR-29c* in MPM predict a more favorable prognosis. Not only was the microRNA able to separate MPM patients by time to progression after surgery, but it also stratified these patients by their survival.

When examining Time to Progression (TTP) of MPM, the expression level of miR-29c* enabled the identification of two groups with significantly different median TTP: 4 months versus 14 months in the study’s training set, and 5.5 months versus 12.8 months in the study’s test set.

When examining survival rates for MPM, the expression level of miR-29c* enabled the identification of two groups as well: median survival of 8 months versus 32 months in the study’s training set, and median survival of 9.1 months versus 21.6 months in the study’s test set. This new diagnostic capability may help physicians apply more aggressive therapeutic modalities to the poor prognosis group.

Furthermore, the study found that over-expression of miR-29c* in mesothelioma cell lines resulted in significantly decreased proliferation, migration, invasion and colony formation.

“This is an exciting discovery which may have significant clinical impact on the treatment of MPM,” said Harvey Pass, M.D., Professor and Chief, Division of Thoracic Surgery and Thoracic Oncology at NYU Langone Medical Center, and the lead investigator of this study. “While MPM is an aggressive cancer, our study showed that we can use a single microRNA to identify subgroups of patients who differ significantly in their time to progression and survival. When applied to a clinical setting, these findings may enable clinicians to apply multimodality therapy to the most appropriate patients. Furthermore, I think it is remarkable that a single biomarker can provide such insights into disease prognosis.”

“In addition to the significant clinical importance of being able to forecast outcomes of MPM, this study demonstrates the tremendous potential microRNAs hold as biomarkers,” noted Kenneth A. Berlin, President and CEO of Rosetta Genomics. “NYU Langone Medical Center chose Rosetta Genomics’ platform technology for this study as it was the most technologically advanced, offering an extremely high sensitivity and specificity suitable for studying microRNAs in the clinical setting. The results of this study further validate the strength of our microRNA platform technologies and our ability to leverage that strength to help advance the standard of care.”


Rosetta Genomics


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