A relevant challenge for the improvement of clear cell renal cell carcinoma management could derive from the identification of novel molecular biomarkers that could greatly improve the diagnosis, prognosis, and treatment choice of these neoplasms. In this study, we investigate whether quantitative parameters obtained from computed tomography texture analysis may correlate with the expression of selected oncogenic microRNAs.

In a retrospective single-center study, multiphasic computed tomography examination (with arterial, portal, and urographic phases) was performed on 20 patients with clear cell renal cell carcinoma and computed tomography texture analysis parameters such as entropy, kurtosis, skewness, mean, and standard deviation of pixel distribution were measured using multiple filter settings. These quantitative data were correlated with the expression of selected microRNAs (miR-21-5p, miR-210-3p, miR-185-5p, miR-221-3p, miR-145-5p). Both the evaluations (microRNAs and computed tomography texture analysis) were performed on matched tumor and normal corticomedullar tissues of the same patients cohort.

In this pilot study, we evidenced that computed tomography texture analysis has robust parameters (eg, entropy, mean, standard deviation) to distinguish normal from pathological tissues. Moreover, a higher coefficient of determination between entropy and miR-21-5p expression was evidenced in tumor versus normal tissue. Interestingly, entropy and miR-21-5p show promising correlation in clear cell renal cell carcinoma opening to a radiogenomic strategy to improve clear cell renal cell carcinoma management.

In this pilot study, a promising correlation between microRNAs and computed tomography texture analysis has been found in clear cell renal cell carcinoma. A clear cell renal cell carcinoma can benefit from noninvasive evaluation of texture parameters in adjunction to biopsy results. In particular, a promising correlation between entropy and miR-21-5p was found.

Technology in cancer research & treatment. 2019 Jan 01 [Epub]

Chiara Marigliano, Stefano Badia, Davide Bellini, Marco Rengo, Damiano Caruso, Claudia Tito, Selenia Miglietta, Giovanni Palleschi, Antonio Luigi Pastore, Antonio Carbone, Francesco Fazi, Vincenzo Petrozza, Andrea Laghi

Department of Radiological, Oncological and Pathological Sciences, University of Rome “Sapienza”-Polo Pontino, ICOT Hospital, Latina, Italy., Department of Radiological, Oncology and Pathology Sciences, “Sapienza” University of Rome, Italy Radiology Unit, Sant’Andrea University Hospital, Rome, Italy., Department of Anatomical, Histological, Forensic & Orthopaedic Sciences, Section of Histology & Medical Embryology, “Sapienza” University of Rome, Laboratory Affiliated With Istituto Pasteur Italia-Fondazione Cenci Bolognetti, Rome, Italy., Department of Anatomy, Histology, Forensic Medicine and Orthopaedics, Section of Anatomy, Electron Microscopy Unit, Laboratory “Pietro M. Motta,” “Sapienza” University of Rome, Rome, Italy., Department of Medical-Surgical Sciences and Biotechnologies, “Sapienza” University of Rome, Urology Unit ICOT, Latina, Italy.