Serum micro-RNA Identifies Early Stage Colorectal Cancer in a Multi-Ethnic Population

Document Type : Research Articles


1 John A. Burns School of Medicine, University of Hawaii, 651 Ilalo Street, MEB, Honolulu, Hawaii, United States.

2 University of Hawaii Cancer Center, 01 Ilalo Street, Honolulu, Hawaii, United States.

3 Juntendo University, 3-1-3 Hongo, Bunkyo-ku, Tokyo, Japan.

4 National Jewish Health, 1400 Jackson Street, Denver, Colorado, United States.


Objective: Certain microRNAs (miR) have been previously described to be dysregulated in cancers and can be detected in blood samples. Studies examining the utility of miRs for colon cancer screening have primarily been performed in ethnically homogeneous groups of patients, thus the performance of miRs in multiethnic populations is unknown. Methods: Four miRs were selected that were shown to be aberrantly expressed in the blood or stool of patients with colorectal cancer (CRC) of various ethnicities. In this study, the ability of these miRs to discern early stage CRC was determined in a previously untested multiethnic population of 73 CRC cases and 18 controls. Results: The ratios of non-vesicular to extracellular vesicular levels of miR’s -21, -29a, and -92a were statistically and quantitatively related to CRC stage compared to controls. Conclusion: Serum levels of miR-21, miR-29a and miR-92a were able to significantly detect early stage CRC in a multiethnic and previously untested population.


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