Malignant gliomas, the most frequent primary brain tumors, are characterized by a dismal prognosis. Reliable biomarkers complementary to neuroradiology in the differential diagnosis of gliomas and monitoring for post-surgical progression are unmet needs. Altered expression of several microRNAs in tumour tissues from patients with gliomas compared to normal brain tissue have been described, thus supporting the rationale of using microRNA-based biomarkers. Although different circulating microRNAs were proposed in association with gliomas, they have not been introduced into clinical practice so far. Blood samples were collected from patients with high and low grade gliomas, both before and after surgical resection, and the expression of miR-21, miR-222 and miR-124-3p was measured in exosomes isolated from serum. The expression levels of miR-21, miR-222 and miR-124-3p in serum exosomes of patients with high grade gliomas were significantly higher than those of low grade gliomas and healthy controls and were sharply decreased in samples obtained after surgery. The analysis of miR-21, miR-222 and miR-124-3p in serum exosomes of patients affected by gliomas can provide a minimally invasive and innovative tool to help the differential diagnosis of gliomas at their onset in the brain and predict glioma grading and non glial metastases before surgery.
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We wish to thank all patients and healthy controls who participated in this study, the neurosurgeons, nurses and staff of the Institute of Neurosurgery, the Colleagues and the personnel of Neuroradiology, of Pathology, of Neurology, of Oncology and Radiotherapy of the University Hospital of Verona for help in the organization of patient recruitment and blood collection, diagnosis and clinical management of the patients, Giuseppe Moretto and Alberto Beltramello for helpful discussions. AMB thanks Centro Piattaforme Tecnologiche (CPT), University of Verona for the use of the facility DLS and Riccardo Tognato for skilful assistance.
Supported by Brain Research Foundation, Verona, Italy.
Conflict of interest
The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.
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Santangelo, A., Imbrucè, P., Gardenghi, B. et al. A microRNA signature from serum exosomes of patients with glioma as complementary diagnostic biomarker. J Neurooncol 136, 51–62 (2018). https://doi.org/10.1007/s11060-017-2639-x