Format

Send to

Choose Destination
See comment in PubMed Commons below
Am J Epidemiol. 2014 Jul 15;180(2):140-52. doi: 10.1093/aje/kwu135. Epub 2014 Jun 24.

Design and Analysis for Studying microRNAs in Human Disease: A Primer on -Omic Technologies.

Abstract

microRNAs (miRNAs) are fundamental to cellular biology. Although only approximately 22 bases long, miRNAs regulate complex processes in health and disease, including human cancer. Because miRNAs are highly stable in circulation when compared with several other classes of nucleic acids, they have generated intense interest as clinical biomarkers in diverse epidemiologic studies. As with other molecular biomarker fields, however, miRNA research has become beleaguered by pitfalls related to terminology and classification; procedural, assay, and study cohort heterogeneity; and methodological inconsistencies. Together, these issues have led to both false-positive and potentially false-negative miRNA associations. In this review, we summarize the biological rationale for studying miRNAs in human disease with a specific focus on circulating miRNAs, which highlight some of the most challenging topics in the field to date. Examples from lung cancer are used to illustrate the potential utility and some of the pitfalls in contemporary miRNA research. Although the field is in its infancy, several important lessons have been learned relating to cohort development, sample preparation, and statistical analysis that should be considered for future studies. The goal of this primer is to equip epidemiologists and clinical researchers with sound principles of study design and analysis when using miRNAs.

KEYWORDS:

blood; cancer; circulating biomarkers; lung cancer; microRNA; review

PMID:
24966218
PMCID:
PMC4082346
DOI:
10.1093/aje/kwu135
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
PubMed Commons home

PubMed Commons

0 comments
How to join PubMed Commons

    Supplemental Content

    Full text links

    Icon for Silverchair Information Systems Icon for PubMed Central
    Loading ...
    Support Center