Published in

MDPI, Cancers, 16(13), p. 4028, 2021

DOI: 10.3390/cancers13164028



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Circulating miRNAs as Novel Non-Invasive Biomarkers to Aid the Early Diagnosis of Suspicious Breast Lesions for Which Biopsy Is Recommended

This paper is made freely available by the publisher.
This paper is made freely available by the publisher.

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Data provided by SHERPA/RoMEO


In population-based screens, tissue biopsy remains the standard practice for women with imaging that suggests breast cancer. We examined circulating microRNAs as minimally invasive diagnostic biomarkers to discriminate malignant from benign breast lesions. miRNAs were analyzed by OpenArray in a retrospective cohort of plasma samples including 100 patients with malignant (T), 89 benign disease (B), and 99 healthy donors (HD) divided into training and testing sets and a prospective cohort (BABE) of 289 women with suspicious imaging findings who underwent tissue biopsy. miRNAs associated with disease status were identified by univariate analysis and then combined into signatures by multivariate logistic regression models. By combining 16 miRNAs differentially expressed in the T vs. HD comparison, 26 signatures were also able to significantly discriminate T from B disease. Seven of them, involving 5 specific miRNAs (miR-625, miR-423-5p, miR-370-3p, miR-181c, and miR-301b), were statistically validated in the testing set. Among the 7 signatures, the discriminatory performances of 5 were confirmed in the prospective BABE Cohort. This study identified 5 circulating miRNAs that, properly combined, distinguish malignant from benign breast disease in women with a high likelihood of malignancy.