On the Reproducibility of TCGA Ovarian Cancer MicroRNA Profiles
Mach, Claire M.
Allen, Genevera I.
Anderson, Matthew L.
Dysregulated microRNA (miRNA) expression is a well-established feature of human cancer. However, the role of specific miRNAs in determining cancer outcomes remains unclear. Using Level 3 expression data from the Cancer Genome Atlas (TCGA), we identified 61 miRNAs that are associated with overall survival in 469 ovarian cancers profiled by microarray (p<0.01). We also identified 12 miRNAs that are associated with survival when miRNAs were profiled in the same specimens using Next Generation Sequencing (miRNA-Seq) (p<0.01). Surprisingly, only 1 miRNA transcript is associated with ovarian cancer survival in both datasets. Our analyses indicate that this discrepancy is due to the fact that miRNA levels reported by the two platforms correlate poorly, even after correcting for potential issues inherent to signal detection algorithms. Corrections for false discovery and microRNA abundance had minimal impact on this discrepancy. Further investigation is warranted.