Serum miR-21 Expression in Human Esophageal Squamous Cell Carcinomas


To investigate the relationship between serum miRNA-21 (miR-21) expression in esophageal squamous cellcarcinomas (ESCCs) and its clinicopathologic features, a 1:1 matched case-control study including 21 patientswith ESCC and 21 age- and gender-matched healthy controls was carried out. Serum specimens were takenfrom all subjects. Total RNA was extracted and the stem-loop real time polymerase chain reaction was used tomeasure serum miR-21 in both groups. Clinical parameters were assessed to determine associations with serummiR-21 concentrations. Serum miR-21 expression in ESCC samples was significantly higher than in pairedcancer-free samples (P < 0.05). Metastasis was associated with mir-21 expression in serum (P <0.05), ESCCpatients with metastasis having 8.4-fold higher serum miR-21 concentrations than healthy controls. There wereno statistically significant associations between miR-21 expression and clinicopathologic parameters, such asgender (P >0.05), age (P >0.05), tumor location (P >0.05), cell differentiation (P >0.05), TNM staging (P >0.05),whether chemo/radiotherapy had been administered (P > 0.05), or whether surgery had been performed (P >0.05). These findings suggest that the detection of microRNA-21 in serum might serve as a new tumor biomarkerin diagnosis and assessment of prognosis of ESCCs.