Global analysis of serum microRNAs as potential biomarkers for lung adenocarcinoma

Sweta Rani, Kathy Gately, John Crown, Ken O'Byrne, Lorraine O'Driscoll

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60 Citations (Scopus)


Early diagnosis and the ability to predict the most relevant treatment option for individuals is essential to improve clinical outcomes for non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) patients. Adenocarcinoma (ADC), a subtype of NSCLC, is the single biggest cancer killer and therefore an urgent need to identify minimally invasive biomarkers to enable early diagnosis. Recent studies, by ourselves and others, indicate that circulating miRNA s have potential as biomarkers. Here we applied global profiling approaches in serum from patients with ADC of the lung to explore if miRNA s have potential as diagnostic biomarkers. This study involved RNA isolation from 80 sera specimens including those from ADC patients (equal numbers of stages 1, 2, 3, and 4) and age- and gender-matched controls (n = 40 each). Six hundred and sixty-seven miRNA s were co-analyzed in these specimens using TaqMan low density arrays and qPCR validation using individual miRNA s. Overall, approximately 390 and 370 miRNA s were detected in ADC and control sera, respectively. A group of 6 miRNA s, miR-30c-1* (AU C = 0.74; P < 0.002), miR-616(AU C = 0.71; P = 0.001), miR-146b-3p (AU C = 0.82; P < 0.0001), miR-566 (AU C = 0.80; P < 0.0001), miR-550 (AU C = 0.72; P = 0.0006), and miR-939 (AU C = 0.82; P < 0.0001) was found to be present at substantially higher levels in ADC compared with control sera. Conversely, miR-339-5p and miR-656 were detected at substantially lower levels in ADC sera (co-analysis resulting in AU C = 0.6; P = 0.02). Differences in miRNA profile identified support circulating miRNA s having potential as diagnostic biomarkers for ADC. More extensive studies of ADC and control serum specimens are warranted to independently validate the potential clinical relevance of these miRNA s as minimally invasive biomarkers for ADC.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1104-1112
Number of pages9
JournalCancer Biology and Therapy
Issue number12
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2013
Externally publishedYes


  • Adenocarcinoma
  • Biomarker
  • Circulating
  • Lung cancer
  • Micro-RNAs (miRNAs)
  • Minimally invasive
  • ROC curve


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