Background: Esophageal cancer (EC) is one of the cancers with high morbidity and mortality in the world. The dysregulation of microRNAs (miRNAs) would affect the development of cancers, which can be used as potential and non-invasive diagnostic marker. miRNA-34a is a tumor suppressor which inhibits EC cell migration and invasion. However, the clinical significance of circulating miRNA-34a remains undiscovered. In this study, we did a preliminary study of plasma miRNA-34a as a potential biomarker for esophageal cancer diagnosis.
Methods: The relationship was analyzed between the expression of microRNA-34a with RT-qPCR in three different cohorts which were collected from patients with 101 esophageal cancers, 31 benign disease and 97 healthy controls.
Results: The expression level of plasma miR-34a was upregulated in esophageal cancer. The panel of miR-34a and Cyfra 21-1 had great diagnostic efficiency for the EC patients, the logistic regression model was Y = 0.97*miR-34a + 1.02* Cyfra21-1 - 2.85. The AUC was 0.7981 if the cutoff was 0. 5782. The sensitivity and the specificity were 60.40% and 89.69%, respectively. The sensitivity of miR-34a for the EC patients with stage Tis + I + II was 66.47% and specificity was 60.42%.
Conclusions: Plasma miR-34a may serve as a potential biomarker in detecting early stages of the EC.