MicroRNA based liquid biopsy: The experience of the plasma miRNA signature classifier (MSC) for lung cancer screening

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The development of a minimally invasive test, such as liquid biopsy, for early lung cancer detection in its preclinical phase is crucial to improve the outcome of this deadly disease. MicroRNAs (miRNAs) are tissue specific, small, non-coding RNAs regulating gene expression, which may act as extracellular messengers of biological signals derived from the cross-talk between the tumor and its surrounding microenvironment. They could thus represent ideal candidates for early detection of lung cancer. In this work, a methodological workflow for the prospective validation of a circulating miRNA test using custom made microfluidic cards and quantitative Real-Time PCR in plasma samples of volunteers enrolled in a lung cancer screening trial is proposed. In addition, since the release of hemolysis-related miRNAs and more general technical issues may affect the analysis, the quality control steps included in the standard operating procedures are also presented. The protocol is reproducible and gives reliable quantitative results; however, when using large clinical series, both pre-analytical and analytical features should be cautiously evaluated.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere56326
JournalJournal of Visualized Experiments
Issue number128
Publication statusPublished - Oct 26 2017


  • Biomarkers
  • Cancer research
  • Circulating microRNAs
  • Early detection
  • Issue 128
  • Liquid biopsy
  • Lung cancer
  • Real-time PCR

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuroscience(all)
  • Chemical Engineering(all)
  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
  • Immunology and Microbiology(all)


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