A circulating miRNA assay as a first-line test for prostate cancer screening

Evgeniya Sharova, Angela Grassi, Anna Marcer, Katia Ruggero, Francesco Pinto, Pierfrancesco Bassi, Paola Zanovello, Filiberto Zattoni, Donna M. D'Agostino, Massimo Iafrate, Vincenzo Ciminale

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background:Prostate cancer (PCa) screening currently relies on prostate-specific antigen (PSA) testing and digital rectal examination. However, recent large-scale studies have questioned the long-term efficacy of these tests, and biomarkers that accurately identify PCa are needed.Methods:We analysed the levels of circulating microRNAs (miRNAs) in patients with elevated PSA who were diagnosed with either localised PCa (n=36) or benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH, n=31) upon biopsy. Real-time RT–PCR with Taqman probes was used to measure plasma levels of miRNAs. To circumvent problems associated with circulating miRNA quantitation, we computed the expression ratios of upregulated and downregulated miRNAs.Results:The miR-106a/miR-130b and miR-106a/miR-223 ratios were significantly different between the biopsy-positive and BPH groups (P0.99. Both miRNA ratios were highly sensitive and more specific than PSA in discriminating localised PCa from BPH. Receiver operating characteristic curve analysis revealed area under curve values of 0.81 (miR-106a/miR-130b) and 0.77 (miR-106a/miR-223).Conclusions:Testing for circulating miR-106a/miR-130b and miR-106a/miR-223 ratios may reduce the costs and morbidity of unnecessary biopsies and is feasible for large-scale screening, as it requires measuring only three miRNAs.British Journal of Cancer advance online publication, 26 May 2016; doi:10.1038/bjc.2016.151 www.bjcancer.com.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1362-1366
Number of pages5
JournalBritish Journal of Cancer
Publication statusPublished - May 2016

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cancer Research
  • Oncology


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