Currently, no reliable predictive clinical or laboratory tests exist that can accurately distinguish between benign and malignant pheochromocytomas or paragangliomas (PPGLs). The aim of this study was to investigate if serum microRNA-210 (miR-210) levels could be a marker of malignancy in patients with PPGLs.Preoperative serum from patients with PPGLs was collected on the day of surgery. Clinical demographics, germline mutation status, primary tumor size, postoperative biochemical response, and the development of malignant disease were prospectively collected. Total microRNA was extracted from preoperative serum samples, and miR-210 levels were measured by quantitative real-time reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction and normalized to miR-16. Prognostic variables were compared using univariable and multivariable analyses.Of the 35 patients, 10 (29%) were diagnosed with malignant PPGLs and 25 patients (71%) were diagnosed with benign PPGLs (median follow-up 72.5 mo). Sixty-nine percent of patients had a pheochromocytoma (n = 24/35) compared with 31% of patients with paraganglioma (n = 11/35). The most common germline mutation was succinate dehydrogenase complex subunit B (SDHB) (n = 10). On univariable analysis, lower serum miR-210 expression level (2.3 ± 0.5 versus 3.1 ± 1.2, P = 0.013) and larger primary tumor size (6.7 ± 5.0 cm versus 4.1 ± 2.3 cm, P = 0.043) were significantly associated with malignant disease. No significant prognostic variables were found on multivariable analysis.In this pilot study, low serum miR-210 expression levels and large primary tumors were identified to be markers of PPGL malignancy on univariable analysis. Given the initial encouraging results in a small cohort, further investigation is warranted to determine if serum miR-210 levels are prognostic.
View details for DOI 10.1016/j.jss.2019.04.086
View details for PubMedID 31146085