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MiR-34b is associated with clinical outcome in triple-negative breast cancer patients

Marek Svoboda1*, Jiri Sana1, Martina Redova1, Jiri Navratil1, Marketa Palacova1, Pavel Fabian2, Ondrej Slaby1 and Rostislav Vyzula1

Author Affiliations

1 Department of Comprehensive Cancer Care, Masaryk Memorial Cancer Institute, Zluty kopec 7, Brno 656 53, the Czech Republic

2 Department of Oncological and Experimental Pathology, Masaryk Memorial Cancer, Institute, Zluty kopec 7, Brno 656 53, the Czech Republic

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Diagnostic Pathology 2012, 7:31  doi:10.1186/1746-1596-7-31

Published: 22 March 2012



Breast cancer is the most common malignancy with the highest incidence rates among women worldwide. Triple-negative breast cancer (TNBC) represents the major phenotype of basal-like molecular subtype of breast cancer, characterized by higher incidence in young women and a very poor prognosis. MicroRNAs (miRNAs) are small non-coding RNAs playing significant role in the pathogenesis of many cancers including breast cancer. Therefore, miRNAs are also potential prognostic and/or predictive biomarkers in triple-negative breast cancer patients.


Thirty-nine TNBC patients with available formalin-fixed paraffin-embedded (FFPE) tissues were enrolled in the study. MiR-34a, miR-34b, and miR-34c were analyzed using qRT-PCR and correlated to clinico-pathological features of TNBC patients.


Expression levels of miR-34b significantly correlate with disease free survival (DFS) (p = 0.0020, log-rank test) and overall survival (OS) (p = 0.0008, log-rank test) of TNBC patients. No other significant associations between miR-34a, miR-34b, and miR-34c with available clinical pathological data were observed.


MiR-34b expression negatively correlates with disease free survival and overall survival in TNBC patients. Thus, miR-34b may present a new promising prognostic biomarker in TNBC patients, but independent validations are necessary.

triple-negative breast cancer; miR-34a; miR-34b; miR-34c; prognosis