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ORIGINAL ARTICLEUsing Blood and Plasma MicroRNAs as a Non-Invasive Biomarker in Patients with Colorectal Cancer by Horatiu Stefanescu, Delia Muntean, Ciprian Pilut, Mircea Diaconu, Roxana Popescu, Delia Hutanu, Marius Moise, Lighezan Diana, Razvan Nitu, Alina Popa Cherecheanu, Silvius Negoita, Ciprian V. Iovan, Emil Ungureanu, Valentin Calu, Ioana Ciuca

Background: A high percentage of oncological patients die yearly because of colorectal cancer (CRC). Worldwide, CRC represents the fourth leading cause of death among oncological patients. Numerous studies have been conducted in order to identify new biomarkers for the early diagnosis of patients with CRC. From this point of view, an ideal biomarker is represented by the expression of microRNAs. In this paper, we wish to summarize the expressions of microRNAs in CRC and to present the pathophysiological and genetic interactions that microRNAs have with protein systems in these patients.
Methods: For this paper, we looked into the studies available in scientific databases such as PubMed. For the search the following keywords have been used: "miRNAs expression", "colorectal cancer", "genetic polymorphisms in CRC", and "genetic biomarkers in CRC".
Results: Modifying the expression of microRNAs can be used successfully both in diagnosing patients with CRC and in following their response to chemotherapy. Numerous studies have shown high specificity for certain microRNA species in the case of CRC. An extraordinary advantage of these biomarkers is represented by their non-invasive sampling from urine and blood. Moreover, a series of connections of microRNAs in some mechanisms involved in the appearance and development of CRC have been shown. Therefore, microRNAs can be named as the biomarker of the future, as well as the epigenetic targeted treatment for patients with CRC.
Conclusions: The expression of microRNAs can be successfully used in the evaluation and non-invasive monitoring of patients with CRC. However, further studies are needed regarding the expression of microRNAs and the connections these species have in the pathological mechanisms specific for CRC.

DOI: 10.7754/Clin.Lab.2017.170819