Journal of Molecular Medicine

, Volume 88, Issue 7, pp 709–717 | Cite as

Detection of circulating tumor cells in peripheral blood from patients with gastric cancer using microRNA as a marker

  • Hui Zhou
  • Jun-Ming GuoEmail author
  • Yan-Ru Lou
  • Xin-Jun Zhang
  • Fa-De Zhong
  • Zhen Jiang
  • Jia Cheng
  • Bing-Xiu XiaoEmail author
Original article


Recently, the detection of occult cancer cells in peripheral blood has received a great deal of attention regarding the prediction of postoperative cancer recurrence and for novel strategies of adjuvant therapy. The aim of this study was to establish a new molecular diagnostic method of detecting circulating tumor cells. Gastric cancer SGC-7901 cells in 2 ml blood from healthy volunteers were serially diluted. Additional peripheral blood samples were collected from 90 patients and 27 healthy volunteers. Real-time reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction was used to detect the levels of microRNA-106a (miR-106a) and microRNA-17 (miR-17). Receiver operating characteristics (ROC) curves were constructed. In recovery experiments, a significant correlation between the number of cancer cells and the levels of both miR-106a (r = −0.906, p = 0.037) and miR-17 (r = −0.912, p = 0.031) was found. In preoperative and postoperative patient groups, miR-106a and miR-17 levels were significantly higher than those in controls. The areas under the ROC curve for miR-106a, miR-17, and combination were 0.684 (p = 0.0066), 0.743 (p = 0.0001), and 0.741 (p = 0.0002), respectively. Our results indicate that the detection of miRNA in peripheral blood may be a novel tool for monitoring circulating tumor cells in patients with gastric cancers.


Gastric cancer microRNA Gene diagnosis Circulating tumor cells Peripheral blood 



This work was supported by the Ningbo Natural Science Foundation (Nos. 2009A610134, 201001A6010002, 201001A6010003), Zhejiang Province Research Project (Nos. 2008C33020 and 2008F70052), Natural Science Foundation of Zhejiang Province (Nos. Y207240 and Y207244), National Natural Science Foundation of China (No. 30872420), Post-graduate Innovative Research Project in Zhejiang Province (No. YK2008046), and K. C. Wong Magna Fund in Ningbo University.

Disclosure of potential conflict of interests

The authors declare that they have no conflicting interests related to this study.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  • Hui Zhou
    • 1
  • Jun-Ming Guo
    • 1
    Email author
  • Yan-Ru Lou
    • 2
  • Xin-Jun Zhang
    • 3
  • Fa-De Zhong
    • 1
  • Zhen Jiang
    • 1
  • Jia Cheng
    • 1
  • Bing-Xiu Xiao
    • 1
    Email author
  1. 1.Ningbo University School of MedicineNingboChina
  2. 2.Ningbo No. 1 Hospital and the Affiliated HospitalNingbo University School of MedicineNingboChina
  3. 3.The Affiliated HospitalNingbo University School of MedicineNingboChina

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