Circulating microRNAs as Potential Biomarkers in Non-Alcoholic Fatty Liver Disease and Hepatocellular Carcinoma.

Obesity and metabolic syndrome are growing epidemics worldwide and greatly responsible for many liver diseases, including nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD). NAFLD often progresses to cirrhosis, end-stage liver failure and hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC), the most common primary liver cancer and one of the leading causes for cancer-related deaths globally. Currently available tools for the diagnosis of NAFLD staging and progression towards HCC are largely invasive and of limited accuracy. In light of the need for more specific and sensitive noninvasive molecular markers, several studies have assessed the potential of circulating microRNAs (miRNAs) as biomarkers of liver injury and hepatocarcinogenesis. Indeed, extracellular miRNAs are very stable in the blood, can be easily quantitated and are differentially expressed in response to different pathophysiological conditions. Although standardization procedures and larger, independent studies are still necessary, miRNAs constitute promising, clinically-useful biomarkers for the NAFLD-HCC spectrum.

Journal of clinical medicine. 2016 Mar 03*** epublish ***

Marta B Afonso, Pedro M Rodrigues, André L Simão, Rui E Castro

Research Institute for Medicines (iMed.ULisboa), Faculty of Pharmacy, Universidade de Lisboa, 1649-003 Lisbon, Portugal. This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.., Research Institute for Medicines (iMed.ULisboa), Faculty of Pharmacy, Universidade de Lisboa, 1649-003 Lisbon, Portugal. This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.., Research Institute for Medicines (iMed.ULisboa), Faculty of Pharmacy, Universidade de Lisboa, 1649-003 Lisbon, Portugal. This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.., Research Institute for Medicines (iMed.ULisboa), Faculty of Pharmacy, Universidade de Lisboa, 1649-003 Lisbon, Portugal. This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..