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MicroRNA-21 expression is associated with overall survival in patients with glioma

Lin Wu1, Gang Li2, Dayun Feng2, Huaizhou Qin2, Li Gong3, Jian Zhang1* and Zhiguo Zhang24*

Author Affiliations

1 Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, State Key Laboratory of Cancer Biology, the Fourth Military Medical University, Xi’an, China

2 Department of Neurosurgery and Institute for Functional Brain Disorders, Tangdu Hospital, the Fourth Military Medical University, Xi’an, China

3 Department of Pathology, Tangdu Hospital, the Fourth Military Medical University, Xi’an, China

4 Postdoctoral research station of Neurosurgery, Wuhan General Hospital of Guangzhou Command, PLA, Wuhan, China

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Diagnostic Pathology 2013, 8:200  doi:10.1186/1746-1596-8-200

Published: 10 December 2013



MicroRNA-21 has been proved to be associated with glioma proliferation and invasion; thus, we sought to clarify the clinical value of miR-21 expression in glioma tissues with WHO grade I to IV.


One hundred and fifty-two pairs of human gliomas and non-neoplastic brain tissues were evaluated using real-time PCR. The association of miR-21 expression with clinicopathological factors or the prognosis of glioma patients was also analyzed. In this study, survival analysis was performed using the Kaplan-Meier method and Cox’s proportional hazards model.


MiR-21 was more greatly expressed in glioma tissues compared to the corresponding non-neoplastic brain tissues (P < 0.001). This observed high miR-21 expression was significantly associated with high pathological grades and the Karnofsky performance score of glioma patients. In addition, overall patient survival for those with low miR-21 expression was significantly longer than those patients with high miR-21 expression (P < 0.001). Moreover, multivariate Cox regression analysis indicated that miR-21 might be an independent prognostic marker for glioma patient survival.


Our data show that miR-21 may be a candidate independent marker for gliomas, especially those with high pathological grades, and this could also be a potential therapeutic target for molecular glioma therapy.

Virtual slide

The virtual slide(s) for this article can be found here: webcite.

Glioma; MiR-21; Overall survival