Circulating Cancer Biomarkers: The Macro-revolution of the Micro-RNA

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MicroRNAs (miRNAs) are small non-coding RNAs that act as master regulators of many cellular processes. The expression of miRNAs is often deregulated in human tumors, causing the alteration of molecular mechanisms relevant for cancer progression. Importantly, miRNAs are detectable in the blood and their quantity fluctuations are the hallmark of pathogenic conditions, including cancer. Several groups reported the identification of circulating cell-free miRNAs (cf-miRNAs) in the human serum and plasma and demonstrated their diagnostic and prognostic utility. Other studies also shown that it may be feasible to apply such cf-miRNA signatures within screening programs in order to improve cancer early detection. Circulating cf-miRNAs therefore appear to be excellent candidates for blood-borne cancer biomarkers.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)4-6
Number of pages3
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2016


  • Biomarkers, Tumor
  • Early Detection of Cancer
  • Gene Expression Regulation, Neoplastic
  • Humans
  • MicroRNAs
  • Neoplasms
  • Neoplastic Cells, Circulating
  • Prognosis
  • Journal Article
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review


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