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MicroRNAs circulating in blood show promise as biomarkers to detect pancreatic cancer
Date:9/4/2009

on in the clinic, which would require investigating more circulating microRNAs in blood in a larger sample of persons representing different stages of the disease and healthy controls.

The study's small sample size, which compared only the extremes of pancreatic cancer or the complete absence of the disease, is a limitation, but the results justify continued development of this strategy, Sen said.

One of the miRNAs in the study is overexpressed in precursor lesions that can lead to full pancreatic cancer. "The fact that a microRNA reported to be overexpressed in pre-invasive pancreatic cancer could be detected in blood plasma from pancreatic cancer patients raises the possibility that a blood test for detecting pre-invasive pancreatic cancer may become a reality," Sen said.

Marker miRNAs used in the study were miR-21, miR-210, miR-155 and miR-196a.

Sen and colleagues are working with the Early Detection Research Network of the National Cancer Institute to develop studies with larger sample sizes that are designed to test miRNA markers associated with different grades and stages of the disease.


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Contact: Scott Merville
smerville@mdanderson.org
713-792-0661
University of Texas M. D. Anderson Cancer Center
Source:Eurekalert

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