Baseline extracellular vesicle miRNA-30c and autophagic CTCs predict chemoradiotherapy resistance and outcomes in patients with lung cancer

Diego de Miguel-Perez, Francisco Gabriel Ortega, Rosario Guerrero Tejada, Antonio Martínez-Única, Christine B. Peterson, Alessandro Russo, Muthukumar Gunasekaran, Andres F. Cardona, Victor Amezcua, Jose Antonio Lorente, Jose Expósito Hernández, Christian Rolfo, Maria Jose Serrano

Research output: Contribution to journalLetterpeer-review

3 Scopus citations


Concurrent chemoradiotherapy (cCRT) is the mainstay of treatment for patients diagnosed with locally advanced non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC). One significant challenge in the effectiveness of this therapy is the potential development of resistance mechanisms, where autophagy up-regulation has been proposed as a key contributing factor. However, there is a lack of reliable biomarkers to predict outcomes on these patients. Interestingly, for addressing this gap, extracellular vesicles (EVs) and circulating tumor cells (CTCs) have emerged as potential sources of such biomarkers. In this study, we investigated EV-associated miRNAs and presence of autophagic CTCs in prospectively collected serial samples from 38 patients with stage III NSCLC undergoing cCRT. Our findings revealed that non-responders exhibited low levels of baseline EV miR-375, miR-200c, and miR-30c. In particular, EV miR-30c showed high predictive value with an area under the curve of 87.2%. Low EV miR-30c and the presence of autophagic-activated CTCs emerged as independent predictive biomarkers for shorter relapse-free survival and overall survival. Furthermore, in experimental models simulating the effects of chemo- and radiotherapy, the administration of miR-30c, either through direct transfection or encapsulation into human EVs, led to the inhibition of autophagy in these cells. This is the first report demonstrating that EV miR-30c inhibits tumor autophagy and its quantification, together with autophagic-activated CTCs, could be used as biomarkers for the stratification and monitoring of patients with NSCLC undergoing cCRT, and they may hold promising potential for guiding subsequent consolidation treatment with immunotherapy or other novel therapies based on autophagy inhibitors.

Original languageEnglish
Article number98
JournalBiomarker Research
Issue number1
StatePublished - Dec 2023


  • Autophagy
  • Biomarkers
  • Chemoradiotherapy
  • Circulating tumor cells
  • Extracellular vesicles
  • Locally advanced non-small cell lung cancer
  • miRNAs


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