Circulating microRNAs might be used as biomarkers for the diagnosis of cancer and other diseases.
Noninvasive approaches are needed to complement and improve upon current strategies for colorectal cancer screening.
Dr María Dolores Giráldez from Spain investigated whether plasma levels of Circulating microRNAs can differentiate patients with colorectal cancer from healthy individuals.
The research team also investigated whether plasma samples from patients with premalignant neoplastic lesions, such as advanced adenomas, had a different expression pattern of miRNAs.
The doctors analyzed 196 plasma samples from 123 patients newly diagnosed with sporadic colorectal neoplasia, and 73 healthy individuals seen at 2 tertiary medical centers in Spain.
An initial set of samples was analyzed using a genome-wide circulating microRNAs expression profiling assay.
|Only miR18a was confirmed to be up-regulated in patients with advanced adenomas|
|Clinical Gastroenterology and Hepatology |
The researchers reported that quantitative reverse-transcription PCR was used to validate the expression of selected Circulating microRNAs in an independent cohort.
Patients with colorectal cancer or advanced adenomas had plasma Circulating microRNAs expression profiles that differed significantly from those of controls.
The team of doctors selected a group of 13 circulating microRNAs for validation in an independent cohort of patients.
The team noted that 6 were confirmed to be significantly up-regulated in patients with colorectal cancer, differentiating patients with colorectal cancer from controls with area under the receiver operating characteristic curve values ranging from 0.8 to 0.70.
Only miR18a was confirmed to be significantly up-regulated in patients with advanced adenomas, compared with controls; the area under the receiver operating characteristic curve value was 0.64 .
Dr Giráldez's team commented, "Patients with colorectal cancer have significantly different patterns of miRNA expression than healthy individuals."
"These patterns might be developed as biomarkers for colorectal cancer, although they have limited value in identifying patients with premalignant neoplastic lesions."