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Differential expression of microRNAs in plasma of colorectal cancer patients: A potential marker for colorectal cancer screening
  1. Enders KO Ng (ngko{at}
  1. Institute of Digestive Disease, Hong Kong
    1. Wilson WS Chong
    1. Chinese University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong
      1. hongchuan jin (jinhongchuan{at}
      1. cuhk, Hong Kong
        1. Emily KY Lam
        1. Chinese University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong
          1. Vivian Y Shin
          1. Chinese University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong
            1. Jun Yu (junyu{at}
            1. Chinese University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong
              1. Terence C W Poon (tcwpoon{at}
              1. Chinese University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong
                1. Simon SM Ng
                1. Chinese University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong
                  1. Joseph J Y Sung (joesung{at}
                  1. PRINCE OF WALES HOSPITAL, Hong Kong


                    Objective: MicroRNAs (miRNAs) have been shown to anticipate great cancer diagnostic potential. We investigated whether plasma miRNAs could discriminate patients with and without colorectal cancer (CRC).

                    Methods: This study was divided into three phases: (i) Marker discovery using real-time PCR-based miRNA profiling on plasma, corresponding cancerous and adjacent non-cancerous colonic tissues of 5 CRC patients, along with plasma from 5 healthy individuals as controls. (ii) Marker selection and validation by real-time quantitative RT-PCR on a small set of plasma. (iii) Independent validation on a large set of plasma from 90 CRC patients, 20 gastric cancer patients, 20 patients with inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) and 50 healthy controls.

                    Results: Of the panel of 95 miRNAs analyzed, 5 miRNAs were up-regulated both in plasma and tissue samples. All the 5 miRNAs were validated on the plasma of 25 CRC patients and 20 healthy controls. Both miR-17-3p and miR-92 were significantly elevated in CRC patients (p<0.0005). The plasma levels of these markers were significantly reduced after surgery in 10 CRC patients (p<0.05). Further validation with an independent set of plasma samples (n=180) indicated that miR-92 differentiates CRC from gastric cancer, IBD and normal subjects. This marker yielded a receiver operating characteristic curve area of 88.5%. At a cutoff of 240 (relative expression in comparison to RNU6B snRNA), the sensitivity was 89% and the specificity was 70% in discriminating CRC from control subjects.

                    Conclusion: MiR-92 is significantly elevated in plasma of CRC patients and can be a potential noninvasive molecular marker for CRC screening.

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