Circulating microRNAs are novel and non-invasive tumor biomarkers for colorectal
cancer (CRC) detection. In this study, we investigated miR-372 expression in serum and tissues
in CRC and colorectal precancerous lesions (CPL) patients by quantitative reverse-transcriptase
polymerase chain reaction (qRT-PCR). Our data demonstrated that serum or tissue miR-372 levels were significantly up-regulated in
patients with CRC or CPL, compared to healthy control (HC) subjects or normal tissues (P<0.05). High miR-372 expression in early
colorectal cancer (ECRC) tissues were statistically significantly associated with tumor size (P<0.05), Tumor-Nodes-Metastasis (TNM)
stage (P<0.05), and led to a worse overall survival (P=0.012). Postoperative serum miR-372 levels in ECRC patients significantly dropped,
compared to the corresponding preoperative levels (P<0.05). The AUC of serum miR-372 expression for ECRC diagnosis was 0.854, which
was significantly higher than that of combined tumor markers (CEA, CA19-9 and CA12-5) (0.613) (P<0.05). The sensitivity and specificity
of serum miR-372 expression for ECRC diagnosis were 81.9 % and 73.3 %. All these findings provided an evidence that serum miR-372
could be a noninvasive biomarker for the early detection and prognosis of CRC.
Keywords: Colorectal cancer, diagnosis, miR-372, serum, prognosis.
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