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Circulating microRNA profiles in plasma: identification of miR-224 as a novel diagnostic biomarker in hepatocellular carcinoma independent of hepatic function

Circulating microRNA profiles in plasma: identification of miR-224 as a novel diagnostic biomarker in hepatocellular carcinoma independent of hepatic function

Oncotarget 7(33): 53820-53836

This study was designed to identify novel microRNAs (miRNAs) in plasma for detecting and monitoring hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC), independent of hepatic function and background liver diseases with different etiologies. (1) Four oncogenic miRNAs (miR-151, 155, 191 and 224) with high expression in HCC tissues were selected as candidates. (2) Quantitative RT-PCR using plasma samples from 107 HCC patients and 75 healthy volunteers revealed a significantly higher level of plasma miR-224 in HCC patients than in healthy volunteers according to a small-scale analysis (P < 0.0001), two independent large-scale cohort analysis (P < 0.0001, AUC 0.908). (3) miR-224 expression was significantly higher in HCC tissues and HCC cell lines than in normal hepatic tissues and fibroblasts, respectively. (P = 0.0011, 0.0150) (4) Plasma miR-224 reflected tumor dynamics; preoperative plasma levels of miR-224 were significantly reduced in postoperative samples (P = 0.0058), and plasma miR-224 levels were significantly correlated with paired miR-224 levels in HCC tissues (P = 0.0005). (5) Furthermore, plasma miR-224 levels significantly discriminated HCC patients from patients with chronic liver disease (P = 0.0008). A high plasma miR-224 level was significantly correlated with larger tumor size (P = 0.0005) and recurrences (P = 0.0027). The plasma miR-224 level could accurately detect small tumors less than 18 mm preoperatively. We performed a systematic review of the NCBI database and selected candidate miRNAs reported as highly expressed in HCC tissue. Plasma miR-224 may be a sensitive biomarker for screening HCC and monitoring tumor dynamics.

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Accession: 057409958

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PMID: 27462777

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