ASCO GU 2021: Longer Follow-up Data of Circulating miR371a-3p Expression Across the Spectrum of Germ Cell Tumors

( In a prior publication, the authors of this abstract published results confirming plasma expression of the microRNA 371a-3p (miR371) can be utilized as a sensitive and specific marker of active germ cell malignancy in patients. In this abstract, Dr. Lucia Nappi and colleagues present updated follow-up data with miR371 expression data to further define the utility of this test in predictive relapse in clinical stage 1 and 2A patients.

This cohort included data from 99 patients enrolled at a cancer center. Patients were stratified by clinical risk of recurrence and followed as shown below. Plasma miR371 was evaluated by PCR.


Of the 119 samples collected from 99 patients, 6 patients were lost to follow-up, resulting in 113 samples available for analysis. The median follow-up was greater than 2 years in all risk groups. In total, 7 relapses were detected, 4 in the low-risk group (3 seminomas) and 3 (2 nonseminomas) in the moderate-risk group. The chart below indicates that miR371 after orchiectomy was negative in a proportion of patients that ultimately relapsed (and had detectable miR371 at the time of relapse). Two patients that were negative for miR371 expression at the time of relapse had pure teratoma.


The operating characteristics for miR371 are shown below.


The authors concluded that these results overall confirm the accuracy of miR371 for the detection of active germ cell malignancy, though not all cases with microscopic disease post-orchiectomy are detected immediately. Definitive operative characteristics of this biomarker are being prospectively confirmed in the S1823 clinical trial.

Presented by: Lucia Nappi, MD, Vancouver Prostate Centre

Written by: Alok Tewari, MD, PhD, Medical Oncologist at the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, during the 2021 American Society of Clinical Oncology Genitourinary Cancers Symposium (#GU21), February 11th-February 13th, 2021


  1. Nappi L, Thi M, Lum A et al. "Developing a Highly Specific Biomarker for Germ Cell Malignancies: Plasma miR371 Expression Across the Germ Cell Malignancy Spectrum." Journal of Clinical Oncology. 2019. 37. 33. 3090-3098.