Germ cell tumours predominantly of the testis ((T)GCTs) are remarkably chemotherapy sensitive. However, a small proportion of patients fail to be cured with cisplatin-based combination chemotherapy. miR-371a-3p is a new liquid biopsy biomarker for (T)GCTs. The aim of this study was to evaluate clinical utility of plasma miR-371a-3p level in patients starting systemic chemotherapy. Patients were included before the first cycle (N = 180) and second cycle (N = 101) of systemic first line chemotherapy, treated between July 2010 and May 2017. Plasma miR-371a-3p levels were measured with the ampTSmiR test and compared to disease characteristics and outcome. Pretreatment plasma miR-371a-3p levels were increased in 51.7% of cases and associated with number of metastatic sites, presence of lung, retroperitoneal, and mediastinal lymph node metastases, S – stage, IGCCCG risk group, and response to therapy. Patients with a negative pretreatment plasma level had better progression-free survival (PFS) and overall survival (OS) compared to patients being positive for miR-371a-3p (hazard ratio [HR] = 0.26, 95% confidence interval [CI] 0.09-0.71, P = 0.02 for PFS and HR = 0.21, 95% CI 0.07-0.67, P = 0.03 for OS, respectively). Patients negative for miR-371a-3p in both samples had a superior PFS (HR = 0.10, 95% CI 0.01-21.49, P = 0.02) and OS (HR = 0.08, 95% CI 0.01-27.81, P = 0.008) compared to patients with miR-371a-3p positive in both samples (multivariate analyses were non-significant). In total 68% of the patients were S0. This study demonstrates clinical value of plasma miR-371a-3p level in chemotherapy naïve (T)GCT patients starting first line of chemotherapy to predict prognosis.

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Keywords (testicular) germ cell tumours, miR-371a-3p, prognostic liquid biopsy biomarker
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Journal Journal of Cellular and Molecular Medicine: a journal of translational medicine
Mego, M. (Michal), van Agthoven, A.J, Gronesova, P. (Paulina), Chovanec, M. (Michal), Miskovska, V. (Vera), Mardiak, J. (Jozef), & Looijenga, L.H.J. (2018). Clinical utility of plasma miR-371a-3p in germ cell tumors. Journal of Cellular and Molecular Medicine: a journal of translational medicine. doi:10.1111/jcmm.14013