Circulating plasma microRNAs in colorectal neoplasia: A pilot study in assessing response to therapy

Stephen J. O'Brien, Uri Netz, Jacob Hallion, Campbell Bishop, Vincent Stephen, James Burton, Mason Paas, Kayla Feagins, Jianmin Pan, Shesh N. Rai, Susan Galandiuk

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


Introduction: Current serological surveillance markers to monitor colorectal cancer (CRC) or colorectal advanced adenomas (CAA) are hampered by poor sensitivity and specificity. The aim of this study is to identify and validate a panel of plasma microRNAs which change in expression after resection of such lesions. Methods: A prospectively maintained colorectal surgery database was queried for patients in whom both pre- and post-procedural serum samples had been obtained. An initial screening analysis of CRC and CAA patients (5 each) was conducted using screening cards for 380 miRNAs. Four identified miRNAs were combined with a previously described panel of 7 miRNAs that were diagnostically predictive of CRC and CAA. Differential miRNA expression was assessed using quantitative real-time polymerase chain reaction(qRT-PCR). Results: Fifty patients were included (n = 27 CRC, n = 23 CAA). There was no difference in age, gender, or race profile of CRC patients compared to CAA patients. Six miRNA were significantly increased after CRC resection (miR-324, let7b, miR-454, miR-374a, miR-122, miR-19b, all p<0.05), while three miRNAs were significantly increased following CAA resection (miR-454, miR-374a, miR-122, all p<0.05). Three miRNA were increased in common for both (miR-454, miR-374a, miR-122). Discussion: The expression of miRNAs associated with neoplasia (either CRC or CAA) was significantly increased following surgical resection or endoscopic removal of CRC or CAA. Future studies should focus on the evaluation of these miRNAs in CRC and CAA prognosis.

Original languageEnglish
Article number100962
JournalTranslational Oncology
Issue number1
StatePublished - 1 Jan 2021
Externally publishedYes


  • Colorectal advanced adenoma
  • Colorectal cancer
  • Surveillance
  • microRNA

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Cancer Research


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