Distinctive pattern of let-7 family microRNAs in aggressive carcinoma of the oral tongue in young patients

Ohad Hilly, Nir Pillar, Sagit Stern, Yulia Strenov, Gideon Bachar, Noam Shomron*, Thomas Shpitzer

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Oral cavity squamous cell carcinoma may be more aggressive at presentation and recurrence in young patients compared with older patients. Dysregulation of microRNAs (miRNAs or miRs) has been associated with the development and prognosis of oral cavity cancer. The present study investigated miRNA expression in carcinoma of the oral tongue in young patients. miRNA expression profiles were evaluated in formalin-fixed, paraffin-embedded samples of tumor and normal mucosa from 12 patients aged <30 years old with squamous cell carcinoma of the tongue. The levels of let-7f-5p, miR-30b-5p and let-7e-5p were upregulated in tumors (P<0.05). The expression of let-7f-5p was upregulated in non-aggressive tumors, while the expression of let-7e-5p was upregulated in aggressive tumors, compared with the corresponding normal tissue. Aggressive tumors had higher levels of let-7c, miR-130a-3p, miR-361-5p, miR-99a-5p, miR-29c-3p and let-7d-5p than non-aggressive tumors (P<0.05). The findings remained significant for let-7c upon false-discovery rate correction. An excellent correlation was noticed on validation of NanoString counts by quantitative polymerase chain reaction. The comparison with published findings in adults demonstrated a unique miRNA signature in young patients with aggressive disease. Aggressive oral cavity cancer in patients <30 years old is associated with a distinctive expression pattern of the let-7 family. Larger studies including direct comparison with older patients are warranted.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1729-1736
Number of pages8
JournalOncology Letters
Issue number3
StatePublished - Sep 2016


  • MicroRNA
  • Oral cavity cancer
  • Squamous cell carcinoma
  • Young patients


Dive into the research topics of 'Distinctive pattern of let-7 family microRNAs in aggressive carcinoma of the oral tongue in young patients'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this