Research Papers:

The role of circulating miRNAs and CA19-9 in pancreatic cancer diagnosis

Nivaldo Faria Vieira, Luciano Neder Serafini, Paulo Cezar Novais, Fermino Sanches Lizarte Neto, Mucio Luiz de Assis Cirino, Rafael Kemp, José Celso Ardengh, Fabiano Pinto Saggioro, Alberto Facury Gaspar, Ajith Kumar Sankarankutty, Jorge Resende Lopes Júnior, Daniela Pretti da Cunha Tirapelli and José Sebastião dos Santos _

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Oncotarget. 2021; 12:1638-1650. https://doi.org/10.18632/oncotarget.28038

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Nivaldo Faria Vieira1, Luciano Neder Serafini2, Paulo Cezar Novais3, Fermino Sanches Lizarte Neto1, Mucio Luiz de Assis Cirino1, Rafael Kemp1, José Celso Ardengh1,4, Fabiano Pinto Saggioro2,4, Alberto Facury Gaspar1,4, Ajith Kumar Sankarankutty1, Jorge Resende Lopes Júnior1,4, Daniela Pretti da Cunha Tirapelli1 and José Sebastião dos Santos1

1 Department of Surgery and Anatomy, Medical School of Ribeirão Preto, University of São Paulo, Ribeirão Preto, São Paulo, Brazil

2 Department of Pathology, Medical School of Ribeirão Preto, University of São Paulo, Ribeirão Preto, São Paulo, Brazil

3 Postgraduate Program in Structural and Functional Interactions in Rehabilitation, University of Marilia, Marília, Brazil

4 Clinical Hospital of the Medical School of Ribeirão Preto, University of São Paulo, São Paulo, Brazil

Correspondence to:

José Sebastião dos Santos, email: [email protected]

Keywords: pancreatic cancer; microRNA; CA19-9; biomarkers; cancer recurrence

Received: March 29, 2021     Accepted: July 27, 2021     Published: August 17, 2021

Copyright: © 2021 Vieira et al. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY 3.0), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.


Diagnosis and treatment of pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma (PA) remains a challenge in clinical practice. The aim of this study was to assess the role of microRNAs (miRNAs-21, -23a, -100, -107, -181c, -210) in plasma and tissue as possible biomarkers in the diagnosis of PA. Samples of plasma (PAp-n = 13), pancreatic tumors (PAt-n = 18), peritumoral regions (PPT-n = 9) were collected from patients during the surgical procedure. The control group consisted of samples from patients submitted to pancreatic surgery for trauma or cadaveric organs (PC-n = 7) and healthy volunteers donated blood (PCp-n = 6). The expression profile of microRNAs was measured in all groups using RT-PCR, serum CA19-9 levels were determined in PA and PC. In tissue samples, there was a difference in the expression of miRNAs-21, -210 (p < 0.05) across the PAt, PC and PPT groups. The PAp showed overexpression of miRNAs-181c, -210 (p < 0.05) when compared to PCp. The combination of miRNAs-21, -210 tissue expression and serum CA19-9 showed 100% accuracy in the diagnosis of PA, as well as miR-181c expression in the plasma (PApxPCp). The expression of microRNAs in plasma proved to be a promising tool for a noninvasive detection test for PA, as well as further studies will evaluate the utility of microRNAs expression as biomarkers for prognostic and response to therapy in PA.

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