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Clin Biochem. 2011 Sep;44(13):1050-7. doi: 10.1016/j.clinbiochem.2011.06.004. Epub 2011 Jun 17.

Detection of circulating tumor cells in peripheral blood from patients with gastric cancer using piRNAs as markers.

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Ningbo University School of Medicine, Ningbo 315211, China.



To investigate the feasibility of detecting circulating cancer cells in peripheral blood from gastric cancer patients using Piwi-interacting RNAs (piRNAs) as markers.


Real-time quantitative reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction was used to analyze piR-651 and piR-823 levels in the peripheral blood of 93 patients with gastric cancer and 32 healthy volunteers. Receiver operating characteristic (ROC) curves were constructed to evaluate the diagnostic values.


The peripheral blood levels of piR-651 and piR-823 in the patients with gastric cancer were significantly lower than those from controls (P<0.001). The piR-651 level in gastric adenocarcinoma was higher than that in gastric signet ring cell carcinoma (P = 0.003). The piR-823 level was positively associated with tumor-node-metastasis stage (P = 0.027) and distant metastasis (P = 0.026). The areas under the ROC curve were 0.841, 0.812 and 0.860 for piR-651, piR-823 and the combination, respectively.


piRNAs may be valuable biomarkers for detecting circulating gastric cancer cells.

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