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J Clin Gastroenterol. 2011 Apr;45(4):355-60. doi: 10.1097/MCG.0b013e3181f18ac2.

Circulating microRNAs as biomarkers for hepatocellular carcinoma.

Author information

1
Department of Hematology and Oncology, Quest Diagnostics Nichols Institute, San Juan Capistrano, CA 92675, USA.

Abstract

GOALS:

We investigated whether measurement of serum levels of the microRNAs (miRNAs) miR-16, miR-195, and miR-199a, alone or in combination with conventional serum markers, can help to differentiate hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) from chronic liver diseases (CLDs).

BACKGROUND:

Recent reports suggest a link between aberrant expression of miRNA, and HCC.

STUDY:

This retrospective analysis was conducted using sera from 105 HCC patients, 107 CLD patients, and 71 normal control subjects. The miRNAs were measured using real-time reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction. The conventional HCC markers α-fetoprotein (AFP), lens culinaris agglutinin-reactive AFP (AFP-L3%), and des-γ-carboxyprothrombin (DCP) were measured with commercial kits.

RESULTS:

Serum levels of miR-16 and miR-199a were significantly lower in HCC than in CLD patients or control subjects (P<0.01). As a single marker, miR-16 had the highest sensitivity for HCC, followed by miR-199a, AFP, DCP, AFP-L3%, and miR-195. The combination of miR-16, AFP, AFP-L3%, and DCP yielded the optimal combination of sensitivity (92.4%) and specificity (78.5%) for HCC, overall and when analysis was restricted to patients with tumors size smaller than 3 cm. As a second-line HCC marker, miR-16 yielded positive HCC predictions in 18 of the 26 (69.2%) HCC patients with negative results on all 3 conventional markers, most of whom had tumors size smaller than 3 cm; miR-16 was falsely positive in only 12 of 96 (12.5%) CLD patients.

CONCLUSIONS:

The addition of miR-16 to conventional serum markers improved sensitivity and specificity for HCC. Use of miR-16 for second-line testing in cases considered negative on the basis of conventional HCC markers should be explored in larger, prospective studies.

PMID:
21278583
DOI:
10.1097/MCG.0b013e3181f18ac2
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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