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Serum microRNAs as Biomarkers for the Noninvasive Early Diagnosis of Biliary Tract Cancer

Authors Han Y, Zhang H, Zhou Z, Liu R, Liu D, Bai M, Fan Q, Li J, Zhu K, Li H, Ning T, Ying G, Ba Y

Received 18 December 2020

Accepted for publication 15 March 2021

Published 1 April 2021 Volume 2021:14 Pages 1185—1195


Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single anonymous peer review

Peer reviewer comments 3

Editor who approved publication: Dr Scott Fraser

Yueting Han,1,* Haiyang Zhang,1,* Zhengyang Zhou,1,* Rui Liu,1 Dongying Liu,1 Ming Bai,1 Qian Fan,1 Jialu Li,2 Kegan Zhu,1 Hongli Li,1 Tao Ning,1 Guoguang Ying,1 Yi Ba1

1Tianjin Medical University Cancer Institute and Hospital, National Clinical Research Center for Cancer, Tianjin’s Clinical Research Center for Cancer, Key Laboratory of Cancer Prevention and Therapy, Tianjin, 300060, People’s Republic of China; 2Division of Gastroenterology and Hepatology, Shanghai Institute of Digestive Disease, Key Laboratory of Gastroenterology and Hepatology, Ministry of Health, Shanghai Jiao-Tong University School of Medicine Renji Hospital, Shanghai, 200001, People’s Republic of China

*These authors contributed equally to this work

Correspondence: Yi Ba; Guoguang Ying Email [email protected]; [email protected]

Background: Biliary tract cancers (BTCs) are aggressive malignancies with difficult early diagnosis and poor prognosis. Studies have shown that microRNAs (miRNAs) are expected to be biomarkers of the disease, which indicates that we can diagnose cancers according to the miRNAs that have significant changes. The aim of this study was to explore miRNA biomarkers of BTCs.
Methods: A total of 163 samples were collected and divided into the control group, the benign group and the malignant group. High-throughput low-density chips were used to screen miRNAs with significant changes. Then, the preliminary screening test and the verification test were performed by quantitative real time PCR (qRT-PCR). Finally, the level of miRNAs in serum exosomes was measured.
Results: MiR-10a, miR-21, miR-135b, miR-221, and miR-214 were upregulated in the BTCs group compared to the control group. The change in the miR-221 level was statistically significant when the malignant group was compared with the benign group (P< 0.01). Meanwhile, miR-135b and miR-214 were enriched in serum exosomes.
Conclusion: Five miRNAs in the serum were found to be significantly upregulated in patients with BTCs. Among them, miR-221 can serve as an early diagnostic marker for BTCs patients. MiR-10a, miR-21, miR-135b and miR-214 can be used as biomarkers for the diagnosis of biliary diseases.

Keywords: biliary tract cancers, microRNAs, biomarker, noninvasive diagnosis

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