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Eur Respir J. 2011 Mar;37(3):617-23. doi: 10.1183/09031936.00029610. Epub 2010 Jul 1.

Vesicle-related microRNAs in plasma of nonsmall cell lung cancer patients and correlation with survival.

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Dept of Medical Oncology, Puerta de Hierro Majadahonda University Hospital, C/Joaquín Rodrigo, 2; E-28222 Majadahonda, Madrid, Spain.


The identification of tumour biomarkers that detect the presence of disease using noninvasive diagnostic procedures is a key part of cancer research. We determined in plasma the vesicle-related microRNA (miRNA) expression profile of nonsmall cell lung cancer (NSCLC) and evaluate whether plasma miRNAs can be both discriminating (between patients and healthy controls) and prognostic markers. 365 human miRNAs were analysed by Taqman® low-density arrays (Applied Biosystems, Foster City, CA, USA) in the plasma from 28 NSCLC patients and 20 controls. Five selected miRNAs (let-7f, miR-20b, miR-30e-3p, miR-223 and miR-301) were validated independently by real-time PCR in plasma from 78 NSCLC and 48 controls and correlated with pathologic parameters and survival. Levels of let-7f, miR-20b and miR-30e-3p were decreased in plasma vesicles of NSCLC patients. Moreover, levels of let-7f and miR-30e-3p distinguished between two groups of patients for stage of disease and therefore possibility of surgery. Plasma levels of miR-30e-3p and let-7f were associated with short disease-free survival and overall survival, respectively. NSCLC patients and healthy controls differ in vesicle-related miRNAs in plasma. Levels of let-7f and miR-30e-3p in NSCLC patients are associated with poor outcome. Thus, plasma vesicle-related miRNAs obtained by noninvasive methods could serve as circulating tumour biomarkers of discriminating and prognostic value.

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