(ChemotherapyAdvisor) – A specific ribonucleic acid (RNA) in cells in the risk and recurrence of bladder cancer, according to a team of researchers of Nanjing Medical University, Nanjing, China. This conclusion is based on a study entitled “Genetic variants in microRNAs predict bladder cancer risk and recurrence,” which was published online in Cancer Research on July 30.

Carcinogenesis is a complex process involving the activity of many genes, including microRNAs (miRNAs). The investigators based their study hypothesis on the previous observation that expression and function of miRNAs is altered in bladder cancer. The aim of this study was to investigate whether these alterations are associated with bladder cancer risk and prognosis. To meet this aim, the investigators used bioinformatics tools.

From 1019 bladder cancer cases and 1182 controls, the investigators selected 5 single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) located in miRNAs and used them to evaluate miRNA-disease associations. “We found the miR-146a rs2910164 C allele was associated with significantly decreased risk of bladder cancer (OR = 0.80, 95%CI = 0.71–0.90, P=2.92×10-4),” the investigators reported. This specific allele was also shown to significantly reduce the risk of bladder cancer recurrence, as well as to inhibit cell proliferation and oncogene-associated signaling in bladder cancer cells.

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The investigators concluded, “miR-146a rs2910164 plays an important role in the risk and recurrence of bladder cancer, suggesting it may represent a biomarker for risk prevention and therapeutic intervention.”