DOI: 10.1002/cnr2.1964 ISSN: 2573-8348

Characterization of circulating miRNAs in the treatment of primary liver tumors

Tomohiro Umezu, Shogo Tanaka, Shoji Kubo, Masaru Enomoto, Akihiro Tamori, Takahiro Ochiya, Y.‐H. Taguchi, Masahiko Kuroda, Yoshiki Murakami
  • Cancer Research
  • Oncology


Background and Aim

Circulating micro RNAs (miRNAs) indicate clinical pathologies such as inflammation and carcinogenesis. In this study, we aimed to investigate whether miRNA expression level patterns in could be used to diagnose hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) and biliary tract cancer (BTC), and the relationship miRNA expression patterns and cancer etiology.


Patients with HCC and BTC with indications for surgery were selected for the study. Total RNA was extracted from the extracellular vesicle (EV)‐rich fraction of the serum and analyzed using Toray miRNA microarray. Samples were divided into two cohorts in order of collection, the first 85 HCC were analyzed using a microarray based on miRBase ver.2.0 (hereafter v20 cohort), and the second 177 HCC and 43 BTC were analyzed using a microarray based on miRBase ver.21 (hereafter v21 cohort).


Using miRNA expression patterns, we found that HCC and BTC could be identified with an area under curve (AUC) 0.754 (v21 cohort). Patients with anti‐hepatitis C virus (HCV) treatment (SVR‐HCC) and without antiviral treatment (HCV‐HCC) could be distinguished by an AUC 0.811 (v20 cohort) and AUC 0.798 (v21 cohort), respectively.


In this study, we could diagnose primary hepatic malignant tumor using miRNA expression patterns. Moreover, the difference of miRNA expression in SVR‐HCC and HCV‐HCC can be important information for enclosing cases that are prone to carcinogenesis after being cured with antiviral agents, but also for uncovering the mechanism for some carcinogenic potential remains even after persistent virus infection has disappeared.

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