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IL1RN Expression: Potential Diagnostic and Prognostic Biomarker for Papillary Thyroid Carcinoma?

By: Kayci Reyer
Posted: Tuesday, January 5, 2021

According to research published in BMC Cancer, the presence of interleukin-1 receptor antagonist (IL1RN) may help to identify and inform the treatment of high-risk patients with papillary thyroid carcinoma. Jian Zhang, MD, PhD, of China Medical University, and colleagues used bioinformatics to investigate the biologic function of IL1RN.

The study used the The Cancer Genome Atlas database to source IL1RN expression data from 512 papillary thyroid carcinoma samples and 58 normal thyroid samples. The samples underwent enrichment analysis of coexpressed genes and IL1RN methylation analysis using LinkedOmics as well as an analysis of the relationship between IL1RN expression and immune infiltrates using Estimation of Stromal and Immune Cells in Malignant Tumor Tissues Using Expression Data (ESTIMATE), Tumor Immune Estimation Resource (TIMER), and Tumor-Immune System Interactions Database (TISIDB). The relationship between IL1RN expression and overall survival in any cancer was evaluated using gene-expression profiling.

Papillary thyroid carcinoma tissue samples were found to have higher IL1RN expression levels and lower methylation levels than normal thyroid tissue samples. As methylation may be an upstream IL1RN expression regulator, its inhibition may contribute to IL1RN proliferation, the authors suggested. Higher IL1RN expression levels were strongly linked with poorer outcomes. Samples with increased IL1RN expression were associated with reduced progression-free survival, advanced tumor stage, tumor metastasis, more frequent BRAF mutations, and less frequent NRAS and HRAS mutations. Across all cancers, positive correlation was noted between IL1RN expression and decreased overall survival, tumor progression, and immune infiltration.

“Further research is necessary to explore the role of IL1RN in papillary thyroid carcinoma and the pharmacological value of IL1RN as a therapeutic target,” the authors noted.

Disclosure: The study authors reported no conflicts of interest.

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