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Sensors 2012, 12(7), 9349-9362; doi:10.3390/s120709349

Circulating MicroRNAs: Molecular Microsensors in Gastrointestinal Cancer

1
Biomedical Research Institute of A Coruña, As Xubias 84, E-15006 A Coruña, Spain
2
Clinical Oncology Department, A Coruña University Hospital, As Xubias 84, E-15006 A Coruña, Spain
3
Medicine Department, A Coruña University, Campus de Oza, E-15006 A Coruña, Spain
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 12 May 2012 / Revised: 1 June 2012 / Accepted: 25 June 2012 / Published: 9 July 2012
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Biomarkers and Nanosensors: New Approaches for Biology and Medicine)
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Abstract

MicroRNAs (miRNAs) are small molecules of single strand non-coding RNAs, which are able to regulate gene expression. miRNAs have been involved in multiple cellular processes, such as proliferation, apoptosis and differentiation, thus alterations in miRNA expression have been shown to be directly linked with the pathological origin of multiple diseases, including cancer. In this way, during last few years, an increasing number of exciting advances have contributed to the understanding of miRNA roles in cancer. Moreover, researchers have exploited the special characteristics of miRNAs, such as the tissue and disease specificity or miRNA presence in blood, to explore their use as non-invasive tumour markers. In the present review, we summarize the current data on the potential usefulness of circulating miRNAs as diagnostic and prognostic tools in gastrointestinal tumours.
Keywords: circulating microRNAs; biomarkers; gastrointestinal cancer; oesophageal cancer; gastric cancer; pancreatic cancer; liver cancer; colorectal cancer circulating microRNAs; biomarkers; gastrointestinal cancer; oesophageal cancer; gastric cancer; pancreatic cancer; liver cancer; colorectal cancer
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY 3.0).

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Blanco-Calvo, M.; Calvo, L.; Figueroa, A.; Haz-Conde, M.; Antón-Aparicio, L.; Valladares-Ayerbes, M. Circulating MicroRNAs: Molecular Microsensors in Gastrointestinal Cancer. Sensors 2012, 12, 9349-9362.

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