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MicroRNAs as a predictive marker for stage 2 colorectal cancer

Posted Dec 04 2009 12:00am

This is an interesting abstract presented at the recent 2009 Association for Molecular Pathology annual meeting which is highlighted in Medscape.  Finding the magic markers that will predict which stage 2 CRC patients will progress without chemotherapy is an intense area of research, as is research into the importance of microRNAs in various diseases.

This abstract by Dr. Elizabeth Mambo et al. from Asuragen, Inc. is a small case-matched paired study but demonstrates that 11 microRNAs could potentially be prognostic for CRC recurrence.  Interestingly, they found that most microRNAs associated with CRC recurrence were downregulated but microRNA-21 and microRNA-31 were significantly upregulated compared to tumor specimens from CRC stage 2 patients who did not experience recurrence. 

I wonder which cells are exactly showing these changes given changes in the tumor microenvironment, specifically, neoangiogenic endothelial cells, myofibroblastic cells, and inflammatory cells.  I don't know much specifically about this type of testing, but I think it is a leap to assume that the test is measuring purely the carcinoma compartment of the tumor.

Still following the miRNA story. . .

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