Detection of microRNA (miRNA) aberrations in the peripheral plasma is a new approach for hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) screening. The aim of this study was to characterise miR-148a in the peripheral plasma as a non-invasive biomarker for diagnosis of HCC.Methods
Plasma-based miR148a analysis was performed on 346 plasma samples, including 155 HCCs, 96 liver cirrhosis and 95 healthy controls by using quantitative Real-Time PCR (qRT-PCR). Subsequently, plasma-based miR148a levels were validated in 97 pairs of HCC followed-up after removal of the primary tumour. Finally, Receiver operating characteristics (ROC) curves were generated to confirm predicting the value of plasma-based miR148a in HCC.Results
Plasma-based miR-148a expression was significantly lower in 155HCCs compared to 96 liver cirrhosis (p<0.01) as well as 95 healthy control (p<0.01). Upon removal of the primary HCC tumour, levels of plasma-based miR-48aincreased significantly compared with their initial levels (p<0.0001). The area under receiver operating characteristic (AUROC) curve for plasma-based miR-148a was 0.919, with a sensitivity of 89.6% and specificity of 89.0% for HCC patients compared with liver cirrhosis. In HCC with negative or less expressing AFP, the AUROC values of plasma-based miR148a were 0.949 with a sensitivity of 90.6% and specificity of 92.6%.Conclusions
Plasma-based miR-148a can be applied as a potential non-invasive biomarker for HCC screening, especially for HCC with negative or less expressing AFP, which can make up AFP deficiency in predicting HCC occurrence.Notes
This project was funded by Application Project of Clinical Features in Capital City (Z141107002514507).