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Expert Rev Mol Diagn. 2019 Oct 9. doi: 10.1080/14737159.2019.1673732. [Epub ahead of print]

Circulating exosomal miRNAs: clinical significance in human cancers.

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Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, Faculty of Biology, National and Kapodistrian University of Athens , Panepistimiopolis, 157 01 Athens , Greece.


Introduction: The identification of novel non-invasive biomarkers to ameliorate early-diagnosis, and disease prognosis, as well as to support personalized treatment and monitoring decisions is of first clinical priority for cancer patients' care. Exosomes are natural endosome-derived extracellular vesicles that have emerged as crucial mediators of intercellular communication and tumor progression. Considering that deregulated miRNA levels have been described in numerous human malignancies and that tumor-derived exosomes reflect miRNA expression of donor tumor cells, the evaluation of exosome-derived circulating miRNAs (exomiRs) may offer a new promising class of non-invasive molecular markers to improve patients' management and quality-of-life. Areas covered: In the current review we have summarized the existing knowledge on the clinical relevance of circulating exosomal miRNAs in improving cancer diagnosis and prognosis, and thus supporting personalized patients' management Expert opinion: Cancer research has highlighted the abundance of exomiRs in patients' plasma and serum samples, as well as their biomarker capabilities in the vast majority of human malignancies studied so far. Their analytical stability constitutes exomiRs ideal molecular markers to overcome numerous limitations of cancer clinical management, while future large-scale studies should unveil exomiRs translational utility in modern cancer molecular diagnostics.


biomarkers; circulating miRNA; exomiR; exomiRNA; exosomes; microvesicles; molecular markers; ncRNA; non coding RNA; non-invasive biomarkers

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