miRNAs for testicular germ cell tumours: Contemporary indications for diagnosis, surveillance and follow-up

Andrology. 2023 May;11(4):628-633. doi: 10.1111/andr.13337. Epub 2022 Nov 22.


Despite excellent outcomes with modern multidisciplinary care, clinicians caring for patients with testicular germ cell tumour (TGCTs) face clinical dilemmas across the spectrum of disease. Wrong treatment choices can lead to undertreatment or overtreatment of these young men. Unfortunately the currently available biomarkers alpha-fetoprotein and human chorionic gonadotropin, lack sufficient sensitivity and specificity to reliably aid in these clinical dilemmas. Thus, a sensitive and specific biomarker is desperately needed. Serum or plasma miRNA, in particular, miR-371a-3p, has shown great promise in discriminating the presence of TGCT and may represent a breakthrough for this disease. In this review, we discuss the potential role of miRNA across clinical states of TGCTs. We review their discovery, methods of assay, limitations and future potential.

Keywords: MicroRNA; biomarkers; epigenetics; germ cell and embryonal; neoplasms; non-seminomatous germ-cell tumours; seminoma; testicular cancer.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Biomarkers, Tumor / genetics
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Humans
  • Male
  • MicroRNAs* / genetics
  • Neoplasms, Germ Cell and Embryonal* / diagnosis
  • Neoplasms, Germ Cell and Embryonal* / genetics
  • Neoplasms, Germ Cell and Embryonal* / therapy
  • Testicular Neoplasms* / diagnosis
  • Testicular Neoplasms* / genetics
  • Testicular Neoplasms* / therapy


  • MicroRNAs
  • Biomarkers, Tumor

Supplementary concepts

  • Testicular Germ Cell Tumor