Next Article in Journal
Epigenetic Regulation of Bone Remodeling and Its Impacts in Osteoporosis
Next Article in Special Issue
Cancer Salivary Biomarkers for Tumours Distant to the Oral Cavity
Previous Article in Journal
Lactate as a Metabolite and a Regulator in the Central Nervous System
Previous Article in Special Issue
Serum Levels of MicroRNA-206 and Novel Mini-STR Assays for Carrier Detection in Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy
Article Menu
Issue 9 (September) cover image

Export Article

Open AccessReview
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2016, 17(9), 1459;

Circulating MicroRNAs: A Next-Generation Clinical Biomarker for Digestive System Cancers

Division of Digestive Surgery, Department of Surgery, Kyoto Prefectural University of Medicine, 465 Kajii-cho, Kawaramachihirokoji, Kamigyo-ku, Kyoto 602-8566, Japan
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: William Chi-shing Cho
Received: 19 July 2016 / Revised: 25 August 2016 / Accepted: 26 August 2016 / Published: 1 September 2016
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Liquid Biopsy for Clinical Application)
Full-Text   |   PDF [221 KB, uploaded 1 September 2016]   |  


MicroRNAs (miRNAs) are short noncoding RNAs that post-transcriptionally regulate gene expression and play important roles in various physiological and developmental processes such as oncogenic or tumor suppressive regulators. Specific miRNA expression signatures have been identified in a number of human cancers. Cell-free miRNAs have recently been stably detected in plasma and serum (circulating miRNAs), and their presence in blood has attracted the attention of researchers due to their potential as non-invasive biomarkers. Circulating miRNAs have emerged as tumor-associated biomarkers that reflect not only the existence of early-stage tumors, but also the dynamics and status of advanced stage tumors, tumor recurrence, and drug sensitivities. This methodology for liquid biopsy may provide non-invasive and reproductive biomarkers and individualized therapeutic strategies for cancer patients. We herein review the current phase of biological and clinical research on the circulating miRNAs of solid cancers, particularly digestive tract cancers, and discuss future perspectives. The present review may be beneficial for future research on miRNAs used to detect various cancers. View Full-Text
Keywords: circulating microRNA; non-invasive; biomarker; digestive tract cancer circulating microRNA; non-invasive; biomarker; digestive tract cancer

Graphical abstract

This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited (CC BY 4.0).

Share & Cite This Article

MDPI and ACS Style

Kawaguchi, T.; Komatsu, S.; Ichikawa, D.; Tsujiura, M.; Takeshita, H.; Hirajima, S.; Miyamae, M.; Okajima, W.; Ohashi, T.; Imamura, T.; Kiuchi, J.; Konishi, H.; Shiozaki, A.; Okamoto, K.; Otsuji, E. Circulating MicroRNAs: A Next-Generation Clinical Biomarker for Digestive System Cancers. Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2016, 17, 1459.

Show more citation formats Show less citations formats

Note that from the first issue of 2016, MDPI journals use article numbers instead of page numbers. See further details here.

Related Articles

Article Metrics

Article Access Statistics



[Return to top]
Int. J. Mol. Sci. EISSN 1422-0067 Published by MDPI AG, Basel, Switzerland RSS E-Mail Table of Contents Alert
Back to Top