Extracellular MicroRNA in liquid biopsy: Applicability in cancer diagnosis and prevention

Alberto Izzotti, Stefano Carozzo, Alessandra Pulliero, Dinara Zhabayeva, Gian Luigi Ravetti, Rakhmet Bersimbaev

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


One of the goals of contemporary cancer research is the development of new markers that facilitate earlier and non-invasive diagnosis. MicroRNAs are non-coding RNA molecules that regulate gene expression; studies have shown that their expression levels are altered in cancer. Recently, extra-cellular microRNAs have been detected in biological fluids and studied as possible cancer markers that can be detected by noninvasive procedures. In this review, we analyze the current understanding of extracellular miRNAs based on clinical studies to establish their possible use for the prevention of the most common tumors. Despite discrepancies among different studies of the same cancers, panels of specific extracellular microRNAs are emerging as a new tool for the secondary (selection of high-risk individuals to undergo screening) and tertiary (relapse) prevention of cancer.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1461-1493
Number of pages33
JournalAmerican Journal of Cancer Research
Issue number7
Publication statusPublished - 2016


  • Biomarker
  • Cancer
  • Diagnosis
  • Exsosome
  • Microvescicle
  • MiRNA
  • Outcome
  • Prevention
  • Prognosis
  • Therapy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Cancer Research


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