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Am J Cancer Res. 2016 Jul 1;6(7):1461-93. eCollection 2016.

Extracellular MicroRNA in liquid biopsy: applicability in cancer diagnosis and prevention.

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Department of Health Sciences, University of GenoaItaly; IRCCS AOU San Martino ISTGenoa Italy.
Department of Health Sciences, University of Genoa Italy.
Department of General Biology and Genomics, Inst. of Cell Biology and Biotechnology, L.N. Gumyliov Eurasian National University Astana, Kazakhstan.
IRCCS AOU San Martino IST Genoa Italy.


One of the goals of contemporary cancer research is the development of new markers that facilitate earlier and non-invasive diagnosis. MicroRNAs are non-coding RNA molecules that regulate gene expression; studies have shown that their expression levels are altered in cancer. Recently, extra-cellular microRNAs have been detected in biological fluids and studied as possible cancer markers that can be detected by noninvasive procedures. In this review, we analyze the current understanding of extracellular miRNAs based on clinical studies to establish their possible use for the prevention of the most common tumors. Despite discrepancies among different studies of the same cancers, panels of specific extracellular microRNAs are emerging as a new tool for the secondary (selection of high-risk individuals to undergo screening) and tertiary (relapse) prevention of cancer.


Biomarker; cancer; diagnosis; exsosome; miRNA; microvescicle; outcome; prevention; prognosis; therapy


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