Small RNAs in Seminal Plasma as Novel Biomarkers for Germ Cell Tumors
Department of Growth and Reproduction, Copenhagen University Hospital-Rigshospitalet, 2100 Copenhagen, Denmark
International Center for Research and Research Training in Endocrine Disruption of Male Reproduction and Child Health (EDMaRC), Copenhagen University Hospital, 2100 Copenhagen, Denmark
Laboratory of Molecular Neurooncology, Lithuanian University of Health Sciences, LT-50161 Kaunas, Lithuania
Department of Genetics and Molecular Medicine, Lithuanian University of Health Sciences, LT-44307 Kaunas, Lithuania
Bioinformatics Research Centre, Aarhus University, 8000 Aarhus C, Denmark
DTU Multi-Assay Core, Department of Health Technology, Technical University of Denmark, 2800 Lyngby, Denmark
Department of Oncology, Copenhagen University Hospital, 2100 Copenhagen, Denmark
Department of Clinical Medicine, University of Copenhagen, 2100 Copenhagen, Denmark
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Kerstin Junker
Received: 13 April 2021
Revised: 7 May 2021
Accepted: 10 May 2021
Published: 13 May 2021
Testicular cancer is the most common cancer among young men. It is rarely diagnosed at early stages, being only detected with a highly invasive procedure that presents notable side-effects. Circulating small RNAs have recently been identified as testicular tumor markers, but are unable to diagnose testicular cancer at an early pre-invasive stage. So far, studies have been limited to microRNAs, with other small RNAs remaining unexplored as likely biomarkers. By sequencing all small RNAs in semen samples from men with different stages of testicular cancer and healthy men, we identify signatures predictive of cancer, even at an early stage. Thus, our study provides great potential for non-invasive early diagnosis of testicular cancer. Extensive biological variance in small RNA levels across samples, together with small sample sizes, limit the power to detect single small RNA markers. Hence, larger studies are needed to confirm our findings and deduce their full diagnostic capacity.