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A 5-serum miRNA panel for the early detection of colorectal cancer

Authors Guo S, Zhang J, Wang B, Zhang B, Wang X, Huang L, Liu H, Jia B

Received 9 October 2017

Accepted for publication 20 March 2018

Published 8 May 2018 Volume 2018:11 Pages 2603—2614


Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single-blind

Peer reviewer comments 4

Editor who approved publication: Dr Ingrid Espinoza

Shaohua Guo,1,2 Jiajin Zhang,2 Baishi Wang,2 Bingdong Zhang,1 Xuning Wang,1 Liang Huang,1 Hongyi Liu,2 Baoqing Jia1,2

1Chinese PLA Medical School, Beijing, China; 2General Surgery Department II, Chinese PLA General Hospital, Beijing, China

The study aimed to screen microRNAs (miRNAs) that can be used for the early detection of colorectal cancer (CRC) based on differential expression of miRNA in serum.
Materials and methods: A three-stage study was designed with a total of 217 CRCs, 168 colorectal adenomas (CRAs), and 190 healthy controls (HCs). A quantitative reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction was performed in three stages. We screened 528 miRNA expression profiles in the sera of 40 patients (CRC n=20, CRA n=10, and HC n=10) for candidate miRNAs, then 210 serum samples (CRC n=90, CRA n=60, and HC n=60) were used for screening of candidate miRNAs. Three hundred and twenty-five independent individual samples (CRC n=107, CRA n=98, and HC n=120) were used to validate the most differentially-expressed miRNAs in the screening stage, and binary logistic regression was used in the validation stage. A receiver operating characteristic curve was drawn to evaluate the diagnostic accuracy.
Results: A 5-serum miRNA panel (miRNA-1246, miRNA-202-3p, miRNA-21-3p, miRNA-1229-3p, and miRNA-532-3p) effectively distinguished CRCs from HCs with 91.6% sensitivity and 91.7% specificity. The area under the curve (AUC) was 0.960 (95% confidence interval [CI]: 0.937–0.983). In addition, the panel also accurately distinguished CRCs from CRAs with 94.4% sensitivity and 84.7% specificity. The AUC was 0.951 (95% CI: 0.922–0.980).
Conclusion: Our 5-serum miRNA panel accurately distinguished CRCs from CRAs and HCs with high sensitivity and specificity. The 5-serum miRNA panel may be a promising prospect for application as a nonintrusive and inexpensive method for the early detection of CRC.

Keywords: colorectal cancer, colorectal adenoma, miRNA

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