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  1. Enders K O Ng1,
  2. Jun Yu2,
  3. Ava Kwong1,
  4. Joseph J Y Sung2
  1. 1Department of Surgery, The University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong SAR, China
  2. 2Institute of Digestive Disease and the Department of Medicine and Therapeutics, Li Ka Shing Institute of Health Sciences, The Chinese University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong SAR, China
  1. Correspondence to Professor Joseph J Y Sung, Institute of Digestive Disease, The Chinese University of Hong Kong, Prince of Wales Hospital, Shatin, New Territories, Hong Kong SAR, China; joesung{at}

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We sincerely appreciate the interest in our recent article published in Gut1 and the comments raised. The comments by Heneghan et al2 raised some important questions concerning the emerging circulating microRNA (miRNA) aspects of cancer diagnostics. These comments include: (1) the choice of circulating medium; (2) the choice of endogenous control; (3) premature for colorectal cancer (CRC) screening; and (4) whether elevated miRNAs in plasma reflect a general cancer phenomenon, or a true CRC occurrence.

In response to comment 1, based on our experience and commercial kit recommendation, total RNA <50 ng is recommended for quantitative PCR (qPCR) of miRNA. A large amount of RNA cannot improve qPCR results and so is unnecessary. Although we agree with the authors that total RNA extracted from whole blood generates a …

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