Researchers from DEMONSTRATE team published a new paper “The role of miRNA in colorectal cancer diagnosis: A pilot study” by M. Zdralevic et al. in Oncology Letters. The paper is available at the following link.
ABSTRACT – Despite recent advances in diagnosis and treatment, colorectal cancer (CRC) remains the third most common cancer worldwide, and has both a poor prognosis and a high recurrence rate, thus indicating the need for new, sensitive and specific biomarkers. MicroRNAs (miRNAs/miRs) are important regulators of gene expression, which are involved in numerous biological processes implicated in tumorigenesis. The objective of the present study was to investigate the expression of miRNAs in plasma and tissue samples from patients with CRC, and to examine their potential as CRC biomarkers. Using reverse transcription‑quantitative PCR, it was revealed that miR‑29a, miR‑101, miR‑125b, miR‑146a and miR‑155 were dysregulated in the formalin‑fixed paraffin‑embedded tissues of patients with CRC, compared with the surrounding healthy tissue, and these miRNAs were associated with several pathological features of the tumor. Bioinformatics analysis of overlapping target genes identified AGE‑RAGE signaling as a putative joint regulatory pathway. miR‑146a was also upregulated in the plasma of patients with CRC, compared with the healthy control group, and had a fair discriminatory power (area under the curve, 0.7006), with 66.7% sensitivity and 77.8% specificity. To the best of our knowledge, this distinct five‑miRNA deregulation pattern in tumor tissue, and upregulation of plasma miR‑146a, were shown for the first time in patients with CRC; however, studies on larger patient cohorts are warranted to confirm their potential to be used as CRC diagnostic biomarkers.