Circulating microRNAs in serum: novel biomarkers for patients with bladder cancer?

World J Urol. 2014 Apr;32(2):353-8. doi: 10.1007/s00345-012-1010-2. Epub 2012 Dec 25.


Purpose: Recent studies indicate that circulating microRNAs in serum/plasma are a novel class of non-invasive biomarkers with diagnostic and prognostic information. So far, circulating microRNAs have not been analyzed in patients with bladder cancer.

Methods: We collected serum from patients with non-muscle invasive bladder cancer (NMIBC), muscle invasive bladder cancer (MIBC) and non-malignant urological disease. Total RNA was isolated from 400 μl of serum using the mirVana PARIS Kit; the artificial cel-miR-39 was spiked-in prior to RNA isolation to control different RNA isolation efficiencies. Quantitative real-time PCR was applied to measure the levels of 22 microRNAs upregulated in BCA tissue (miR-15a, miR-18a, miR-21, miR-93, miR-96, miR-103, miR-130b, miR-135b, miR-141, miR-182, miR-183, miR-190, miR-191, miR-200b, miR-422b, miR-425, miR-449b, miR-601, miR-639, miR-644, miR-649 and miR-1233) in the marker identification cohort (NMIBC, n = 11, MIBC, n = 10; controls, n = 10). The most promising serum microRNAs were tested in a validation cohort (NMIBC, n = 65, MIBC, n = 61; controls, n = 105).

Results: The RNA recovery was similar in patients with NMIBC, MIBC and control subjects. The analysis of serum microRNA levels in the marker identification cohort indicated that serum miR-141 and miR-639 levels were increased in bladder cancer patients compared to CTRL. The analysis of these miR-141 and miR-639 in the validation cohort demonstrated that microRNA levels were similar in bladder cancer patients and control subjects. Furthermore, microRNA levels were not correlated with clinicopathological parameters (pT-stage, metastasis, grading).

Conclusions: The analysis of serum miR-141 and miR-639 levels does not seem to be helpful in the diagnosis or prognosis of BCA.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Biomarkers, Tumor / blood*
  • Biomarkers, Tumor / genetics
  • Case-Control Studies
  • Cohort Studies
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • MicroRNAs / blood*
  • MicroRNAs / genetics
  • Middle Aged
  • Real-Time Polymerase Chain Reaction
  • Urinary Bladder Neoplasms / blood*
  • Urinary Bladder Neoplasms / genetics


  • Biomarkers, Tumor
  • MicroRNAs