microRNA profiling for early detection of nonmelanoma skin cancer

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microRNAs (miRNAs) are single-stranded, noncoding RNA molecules. Given the vast regulatory potential of miRNAs and their often tissue-specific and disease-specific expression patterns, miRNAs are being assessed as possible biomarkers to aid diagnosis and prediction of different types and stages of cancers, including skin cancer. Basal cell carcinoma (BCC) and squamous cell carcinoma (SCC) are the most common forms of nonmelanoma skin cancer (NMSC). BCC originates from the basal layer of the epidermis, while SCC arises from epidermal keratinocytes or from the dermal appendages. Although NMSCs are currently the most common types of malignancies, both BCC and SCC have a better than 95% cure rate if detected early.


To identify plasma miRNAs suitable for early detection of NMSC.


Expression profiles of 741 miRNAs were evaluated using high-throughput real-time quantitative PCR from plasma samples in 42 patients with NMSC and 282 healthy controls (HCs).


Our results demonstrated that in patients with NMSC, compared with HCs, expression levels of miR-30e-3p, miR-145-5p, miR-186-5p and miR-875-5p were significantly (P < 0.05) upregulated, while those of miR-19a-3p, miR-25-3p, miR-30a-5p, miR-451 and miR-576-3p were significantly downregulated.


Our study suggests that the miRNAs with significant changes in expression (miR-19a-3p, miR-25-3p, miR-30a-5p, miR-145-5p and miR-186-5p) could serve as novel noninvasive biomarkers for detection of NMSC.

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