Background: Detection of aberrant microRNA (miR) expression may contribute to diagnosis and prognosis of various cancers. The aim of this study is to evaluate the correlation between miR-203 expression and prognosis of patients with pancreatic adenocarcinoma after curative resection. Methods: A total of 113 formalin-fixed paraffin-embedded tissue samples of pancreatic adenocarcinoma, 20 samples of chronic pancreatitis, and 8 samples of normal pancreas were obtained. We investigated the association of miR-203 expression measured by quantitative reverse-transcription polymerase chain reaction assays with clinicopathological parameters and survival times. Results: miR-203 was overexpressed in pancreatic adenocarcinoma samples compared with chronic pancreatitis (P < 0.001) and normal pancreas (P = 0.001) samples. An association between miR-203 expression and clinicopathological factors of pancreatic adenocarcinoma was not observed. On univariate analysis, the high-miR-203 group and the subgroup (20%) of cases with the highest miR-203 overexpression had significantly shorter survival time (P = 0.048 and P = 0.024, respectively). Multivariate analysis revealed that miR-203 expression was an independent predictor of poor prognosis in cases with no residual tumor (relative risk 2.298, P = 0.027). Conclusions: miR-203 expression is a new prognostic marker in pancreatic adenocarcinoma patients.
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