Background: Cancer staging and treatment presumes a division into localized or metastatic disease. We proposed an intermediate state defined by ≤5 cumulative metastasis(es), termed oligometastases. In contrast to widespread polymetastases, oligometastatic patients may benefit from metastasis-directed local treatments. However, many patients who initially present with oligometastases progress to polymetastases. Predictors of progression could improve patient selection for metastasis-directed therapy. Methods: Here, we identified patterns of microRNA expression of tumor samples from oligometastatic patients treated with high-dose radiotherapy. Results: Patients who failed to develop polymetastases are characterized by unique prioritized features of a microRNA classifier that includes the microRNA-200 family. We created an oligometastatic-polymetastatic xenograft model in which the patient-derived microRNAs discriminated between the two metastatic outcomes. MicroRNA-200c enhancement in an oligometastatic cell line resulted in polymetastatic progression. Conclusions: These results demonstrate a biological basis for oligometastases and a potential for using microRNA expression to identify patients most likely to remain oligometastatic after metastasis-directed treatment.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
- Agricultural and Biological Sciences(all)