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Int J Mol Sci ; 23(2)2022 Jan 13.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1884201


Colorectal cancer (CRC) is still a leading cause of cancer death worldwide. Less than half of cases are diagnosed when the cancer is locally advanced. CRC is a heterogenous disease associated with a number of genetic or somatic mutations. Diagnostic markers are used for risk stratification and early detection, which might prolong overall survival. Nowadays, the widespread use of semi-invasive endoscopic methods and feacal blood tests characterised by suboptimal accuracy of diagnostic results has led to the detection of cases at later stages. New molecular noninvasive tests based on the detection of CRC alterations seem to be more sensitive and specific then the current methods. Therefore, research aiming at identifying molecular markers, such as DNA, RNA and proteins, would improve survival rates and contribute to the development of personalized medicine. The identification of "ideal" diagnostic biomarkers, having high sensitivity and specificity, being safe, cheap and easy to measure, remains a challenge. The purpose of this review is to discuss recent advances in novel diagnostic biomarkers for tumor tissue, blood and stool samples in CRC patients.

Biomarkers, Tumor , Colorectal Neoplasms/diagnosis , Colorectal Neoplasms/etiology , Early Detection of Cancer/methods , Clinical Decision-Making , Colorectal Neoplasms/metabolism , Disease Management , Disease Susceptibility , Feces/chemistry , Humans , Liquid Biopsy/methods , Precision Medicine/methods , Volatile Organic Compounds
RNA Biol ; 18(5): 688-695, 2021 05.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1061120


The COVID-19 emergency pandemic resulting from infection with SARS-CoV-2 represents a major threat to public health worldwide. There is an urgent clinical demand for easily accessible tools to address weaknesses and gaps in the management of COVID-19 patients. In this context, transcriptomic profiling of liquid biopsies, especially microRNAs (miRNAs), has recently emerged as a robust source of potential clinical indicators for medical decision-making. Nevertheless, the analysis of the circulating miRNA signature and its translation to clinical practice requires strict control of a wide array of methodological details. In this review, we indicate the main methodological aspects that should be addressed when evaluating the circulating miRNA profiles in COVID-19 patients, from preanalytical and analytical variables to the experimental design, impact of confounding, analysis of the data and interpretation of the findings, among others. Additionally, we provide practice points to ensure the rigour and reproducibility of miRNA-based biomarker investigations of this condition.Abbreviations: ACE: angiotensin-converting enzyme; ARDS: acute respiratory distress syndrome; COVID-19: coronavirus disease 2019; ERDN: early Detection Research Network; LMWH: low molecular weight heparin; miRNA: microRNA; ncRNA: noncoding RNA; SARS-CoV-2: severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus-2; SOP: standard operating procedure.

COVID-19/blood , COVID-19/genetics , Gene Expression Profiling/methods , MicroRNAs/blood , MicroRNAs/genetics , SARS-CoV-2 , COVID-19/virology , Gene Expression Profiling/standards , Genetic Markers , Humans , Liquid Biopsy/methods , Liquid Biopsy/standards , MicroRNAs/isolation & purification , Pandemics , Virus Inactivation
J Biomech ; 117: 110235, 2021 03 05.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1042535


Microfluidic devices can be thought of as comprising interconnected miniaturized compartments performing multiple experimental tasks individually or in parallel in an integrated fashion. Due to its small size, portability, and low cost, attempts have been made to incorporate detection assays into microfluidic platforms for diseases such as cancer and infection. Some of these technologies have served as point-of-care and sample-to-answer devices. The methods for detecting biomarkers in different diseases usually share similar principles and can conveniently be adapted to cope with arising health challenges. The COVID-19 pandemic is one such challenge that is testing the performance of both our conventional and newly-developed disease diagnostic technologies. In this mini-review, we will first look at the progress made in the past few years in applying microfluidics for liquid biopsy and infectious disease detection. Following that, we will use the current pandemic as an example to discuss how such technological advancements can help in the current health challenge and better prepare us for future ones.

COVID-19 Testing , COVID-19/diagnosis , Liquid Biopsy/methods , Microfluidics/methods , Point-of-Care Testing , Biomarkers , Circulating Tumor DNA , Exosomes , Humans , Lab-On-A-Chip Devices , Machine Learning , Neoplasms/diagnosis , Neoplastic Cells, Circulating