Clinical Significance of Circulatory miRNA-21 as an Efficient Non-Invasive Biomarker for the Screening of Lung Cancer Patients

Document Type : Research Articles


1 Prince Fahd Bin Sultan Research Chair, Department of Medical Lab Technology, Faculty of Applied Medical Sciences, University of Tabuk, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.

2 Department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine, King Hussein Cancer Center, Amman, Jordan.

3 Department of Internal Medicine, King Fahd Specialist Hospital, Tabuk, Saudi Arabia.


Dysregulation in the miRNA-21 expression has been previously observed in a number of malignancies and not only
in the tumor cell itself but also in the body fluids of the cancer patients. The present study aimed to find out the clinical
significance of cell-free circulating miRNA-21 as an efficient non-invasive biomarker for the screening of lung cancer
patients. The present case-control study included plasma samples from 80 lung cancer patients and 80 healthy controls.
Magnetic bead technology was used for efficient miRNA isolation and advanced TaqMan miRNA assays were used
for the quantification of miRNA-21 level in the plasma of the lung cancer patients and healthy individuals.The overall
mean relative expression level of plasma miRNA-21 among lung cancer patients (2.32±1.7) was higher when compared
to healthy individuals (0.715 ± 0.48) and it showed a significant difference of pwas 0.8913 [95% confidence interval (CI): 0.8394 to 0.9431, p< 0.0001] and the sensitivity and specificity were both
80.0% when the cut-off value was 1.207. In conclusion, plasma miRNA-21 can be efficiently extracted by the magnetic
bead technology and quantified by the advanced TaqMan miRNA assay. Plasma miRNA-21 showed a high ability to
distinguish between lung cancer patients and healthy individuals, therefore can be used as an efficient non-invasive
biomarker for the screening of Lung cancer patients.


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