Despite the availability of screening programs, oral cancer deaths are increasing due to the lack of diagnostic biomarkers leading to late diagnosis and a poor prognosis. Therefore, there is an urgent need to discover novel effective biomarkers for this tumor. On these bases, the aim of this study was to validate the diagnostic potential of microRNAs (miRNAs) through the analysis of liquid biopsy samples obtained from ten oral cancer patients and ten healthy controls. The expression of four selected miRNAs was evaluated by using droplet digital PCR (ddPCR) in a pilot cohort of ten oral cancer patients and ten healthy donors. Bioinformatics analyses were performed to assess the functional role of these miRNAs. The expression levels of the predicted down-regulated hsa-miR-133a-3p and hsa-miR-375-3p were significantly reduced in oral cancer patients compared to normal individuals while no significant results were obtained for the up-regulated hsa-miR-503-5p and hsa-miR-196a-5p. ROC analysis confirmed the high sensitivity and specificity of hsa-miR-375-3p and hsa-miR-133a-3p. Therefore, both miRNAs are significantly down-regulated in cancer patients and can be used as biomarkers for the early diagnosis of oral cancer. The analysis of circulating miRNAs in a larger series of patients is mandatory to confirm the results obtained in this pilot study.
- Oral cancers
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
- Immunology and Microbiology(all)
- Agricultural and Biological Sciences(all)