Kantonsspital St.Gallen

Detection of recurrences using serum miR-371a-3p during active surveillance in men with stage I testicular germ cell tumours

Christian D Fankhauser, Ailsa J Christiansen, Christian Rothermundt, Richard Cathomas, Marian S Wettstein, Nico C Grossmann, Josias B Grogg, Arnoud J Templeton, Anita Hirschi-Blickenstorfer, Anja Lorch, Silke Gillessen, Holger Moch, Joerg Beyer & Thomas Hermanns


MiR-371a-3p predicts the presence of a macroscopic non-teratomatous germ cell tumour (GCT). We hypothesised that miR-371a-3p can also detect recurrence during active surveillance (AS) of stage I GCT.

We prospectively collected serum samples of 33 men. Relative expression of serum miR-371a-3p levels was determined at each follow-up visit using real-time quantitative reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction.

Recurrence was detected using standard follow-up investigations in 10/33 patients (30%) after a median of 7 months. Directly after orchiectomy, miR-371a-3p levels were not elevated in any of the 15 patients with available post-orchiectomy samples. However, all ten recurring patients exhibited increasing miR-371a-3p levels during follow-up, while miR-371a-3p levels remained non-elevated in all but one patient without recurrence. MiR-371a-3p detected recurrences at a median of 2 months (range 0-5) earlier than standard follow-up investigations.

MiR-371a-3p levels immediately post orchiectomy are not predictive for recurrences and unfortunately cannot support decision-making for AS vs. adjuvant treatment. However, miR-371a-3p detects recurrences reliably and earlier than standard follow-up investigations. If this can be confirmed in larger cohorts, monitoring miR-371a-3p could replace surveillance imaging in seminomatous GCT and reduce the amount of imaging in non-seminomatous GCT. Earlier detection of disease recurrence may also reduce the overall treatment burden.
citation Fankhauser C D, Christiansen A J, Rothermundt C, Cathomas R, Wettstein M S, Grossmann N C, Grogg J B, Templeton A J, Hirschi-Blickenstorfer A, Lorch A, Gillessen S, Moch H, Beyer J, Hermanns T. Detection of recurrences using serum miR-371a-3p during active surveillance in men with stage I testicular germ cell tumours. Br J Cancer 2021;.
type journal paper/review (English)
date of publishing 15-12-2021
journal title Br J Cancer
ISSN electronic 1532-1827
PubMed 34912073
DOI 10.1038/s41416-021-01643-z