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Patents in miRNAs Biomarkers for Gastrointestinal Cancer Diagnostics

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Digestive tract cancers - gastric, colorectal, pancreatic or hepatocarcinoma, are the most frequent neoplasia in the western world, being characterized by invasiveness, metastatic potential and poor outcomes. Novel biomarkers discovery can improve diagnosis and even successful personalized therapy. Early detection of disease and less-invasive / noninvasive diagnostic tools are expected from new biomarkers. In addition, they may provide screening instruments that are more reliable in the drug discovery process. MiRNAs control protein expression at the post-transcriptional level proving a significant implication in cancer. Deregulations of miRNA and several genetic alterations were demonstrated in different cancers, including those of the digestive tract. Altered expressions of miRNAs were associated with tumorigenesis and tumor progression. MiRNAs overexpression was shown for some tumor-inducing and/or tumor-promoting miRNAs, while down-regulation of tumor-suppressor miRNAs was also found. Individual miRNAs or miRNAs panels proved to be candidate biomarkers for diagnostics or tumour monitoring. MiRNAs were also demonstrated as valuable instruments in tumor prognosis of digestive cancers. Moreover, miRNAs furnished relevant insights into tumorigenic mechanisms. Although, a relatively young class of molecules, a considerable set of patents have already been applied or even granted for miRNAs as diagnostics and prognostics biomarkers, as well as therapy tools or targets.
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Keywords: BIOGENESIS; Cell growth; Colorectal cancer; GASTROINTESTINAL TUMORS; gastric cancer; hepatocellular carcinoma; miRNA; pancreatic cancer; patent; proliferation

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: May 1, 2012

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  • Recent Patents on Biomarkers publishes review and research articles, and guest edited thematic issues on important recent patents on biomarkers. The coverage includes novel biomarkers in basic, medical, environmental, and pharmaceutical research. A selection of important and recent patents on biomarkers is also included in the journal. The journal is essential reading for all researchers involved in biomarker research and discovery. The journal also covers recent research (where patents have been registered) in fast emerging patent biomarker applications; discovery and validation are covered for drug discovery, clinical development and molecular diagnostics.
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