Exosomal microRNA in serum is a novel biomarker of recurrence in human colorectal cancer

Br J Cancer. 2015 Jul 14;113(2):275-81. doi: 10.1038/bjc.2015.201. Epub 2015 Jun 9.


Background: Functional microRNAs (miRNAs) in exosomes have been recognised as potential stable biomarkers in cancers. The aim of this study is to identify specific miRNAs in exosome as serum biomarkers for the early detection of recurrence in human colorectal cancer (CRC).

Methods: Serum samples were sequentially obtained from six patients with and without recurrent CRC. The miRNAs were purified from exosomes, and miRNA microarray analysis was performed. The miRNA expression profiles and copy number aberrations were explored using microarray and array CGH analyses in 124 CRC tissues. Then, we validated exosomal miRNAs in 2 serum sample sets (90 and 209 CRC patients) by quantitative real-time RT-PCR.

Results: Exosomal miR-17-92a cluster expression level in serum was correlated with the recurrence of CRC. Exosomal miR-19a expression levels in serum were significantly increased in patients with CRC as compared with healthy individuals with gene amplification. The CRC patients with high exosomal miR-19a expression showed poorer prognoses than the low expression group (P<0.001).

Conclusions: Abundant expression of exosomal miR-19a in serum was identified as a prognostic biomarker for recurrence in CRC patients.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Biomarkers, Tumor / blood
  • Colorectal Neoplasms / diagnosis*
  • Colorectal Neoplasms / genetics
  • Colorectal Neoplasms / pathology
  • Exosomes*
  • Humans
  • MicroRNAs / blood*
  • Neoplasm Recurrence, Local / diagnosis*
  • Neoplasm Recurrence, Local / genetics
  • Neoplasm Recurrence, Local / pathology
  • Prognosis


  • Biomarkers, Tumor
  • MIRN17-92 microRNA, human
  • MIRN19 microRNA, human
  • MicroRNAs