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Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2016, 17(5), 791;

Circulating MicroRNAs as Biomarkers in Biliary Tract Cancers

School of Health Sciences, Universidad Católica de Temuco, Manuel Montt 56, 4813302 Temuco, Chile
Molecular Pathology Laboratory, Department of Pathological Anatomy, School of Medicine, Universidad de La Frontera, Avenida Alemania 0458, 3rd Floor, 4810296 Temuco, Chile
Scientific and Technological Bioresource Nucleus (BIOREN), Universidad de La Frontera, Avenida Francisco Salazar 01145, Casilla, 54-D Temuco, Chile
Department of Chemical Engineering, Faculty of Engineering and Sciences, Universidad de La Frontera, 54-D Temuco, Chile
Department of Pathology, Centre for Investigational Oncology (CITO), Advanced Centre for Chronic Diseases (ACCDiS), Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile, Marcoleta 377, 7rd Floor, 8330024 Santiago, Chile
These authors contributed equally to this work.
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: William Chi-shing Cho
Received: 31 March 2016 / Revised: 29 April 2016 / Accepted: 10 May 2016 / Published: 23 May 2016
(This article belongs to the Special Issue MicroRNA in Various Disease States as Biomarkers)
Full-Text   |   PDF [776 KB, uploaded 23 May 2016]   |  


Biliary tract cancers (BTCs) are a group of highly aggressive malignant tumors with a poor prognosis. The current diagnosis is based mainly on imaging and intraoperative exploration due to brush cytology havinga low sensitivity and the standard markers, such as carcinoembryonic antigen (CEA) and carbohydrate 19-9 (CA19-9), not having enough sensitivity nor specificity to be used in a differential diagnosis and early stage detection. Thus, better non-invasive methods that can distinguish between normal and pathological tissue are needed. MicroRNAs (miRNAs) are small, single-stranded non-coding RNA molecules of ~20–22 nucleotides that regulate relevant physiological mechanisms and can also be involved in carcinogenesis. Recent studies have demonstrated that miRNAs are detectable in multiple body fluids, showing great stability, either free or trapped in circulating microvesicles, such as exosomes. miRNAs are ideal biomarkers that may be used in screening and prognosis in biliary tract cancers, aiding also in the clinical decisions at different stages of cancer treatment. This review highlights the progress in the analysis of circulating miRNAs in serum, plasma and bile as potential diagnostic and prognostic markers of BTCs. View Full-Text
Keywords: biliary tract cancers; microRNAs; biomarkers biliary tract cancers; microRNAs; biomarkers

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Letelier, P.; Riquelme, I.; Hernández, A.H.; Guzmán, N.; Farías, J.G.; Roa, J.C. Circulating MicroRNAs as Biomarkers in Biliary Tract Cancers. Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2016, 17, 791.

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