Document Type


Publication Date


Publication Title

Transl Oncol


Grade 2 and higher radiation pneumonitis (RP2) is a potentially fatal toxicity that limits efficacy of radiation therapy (RT). We wished to identify a combined biomarker signature of circulating miRNAs and cytokines which, along with radiobiological and clinical parameters, may better predict a targetable RP2 pathway. In a prospective clinical trial of response-adapted RT for patients (n = 39) with locally advanced non-small cell lung cancer, we analyzed patients' plasma, collected pre- and during RT, for microRNAs (miRNAs) and cytokines using array and multiplex enzyme linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA), respectively. Interactions between candidate biomarkers, radiobiological, and clinical parameters were analyzed using data-driven Bayesian network (DD-BN) analysis. We identified alterations in specific miRNAs (miR-532, -99b and -495, let-7c, -451 and -139-3p) correlating with lung toxicity. High levels of soluble tumor necrosis factor alpha receptor 1 (sTNFR1) were detected in a majority of lung cancer patients. However, among RP patients, within 2 weeks of RT initiation, we noted a trend of temporary decline in sTNFR1 (a physiological scavenger of TNFα) and ADAM17 (a shedding protease that cleaves both membrane-bound TNFα and TNFR1) levels. Cytokine signature identified activation of inflammatory pathway. Using DD-BN we combined miRNA and cytokine data along with generalized equivalent uniform dose (gEUD) to identify pathways with better accuracy of predicting RP2 as compared to either miRNA or cytokines alone. This signature suggests that activation of the TNFα-NFκB inflammatory pathway plays a key role in RP which could be specifically ameliorated by etanercept rather than current therapy of non-specific leukotoxic corticosteroids.

PubMed ID




First Page


Last Page




To view the content in your browser, please download Adobe Reader or, alternately,
you may Download the file to your hard drive.

NOTE: The latest versions of Adobe Reader do not support viewing PDF files within Firefox on Mac OS and if you are using a modern (Intel) Mac, there is no official plugin for viewing PDF files within the browser window.