Identifying the signatures and rules of circulating extracellular microRNA for distinguishing cancer subtypes


Cancer is one of the most threatening diseases to humans. It can invade multiple significant organs, including lung, liver, stomach, pancreas, and even brain. The identification of cancer biomarkers is one of the most significant components of cancer studies as the foundation of clinical cancer diagnosis and related drug development. During the large-scale screening for cancer prevention and early diagnosis, obtaining cancer-related tissues is impossible. Thus, the identification of cancer-associated circulating biomarkers from liquid biopsy targeting has been proposed and has become the most important direction for research on clinical cancer diagnosis. Here, we analyzed pan-cancer extracellular microRNA profiles by using multiple machine-learning models. The extracellular microRNA profiles on eleven cancer types and non-cancer were first analyzed by Boruta to extract important microRNAs. Selected microRNAs were then evaluated by the Max-Relevance and Min-Redundancy feature selection method, resulting in a feature list, which were fed into the incremental feature selection method to identify candidate circulating extracellular microRNA for cancer recognition and classification. A series of quantitative classification rules was also established for such cancer classification, thereby providing a solid research foundation for further biomarker exploration and functional analyses of tumorigenesis at the level of circulating extracellular microRNA.

European Journal of Clinical Oncology Cancer poses a major challenge to development; it undermines socio-economic advances throughout the world. It is estimated that the number of patients with cancer would increase from 12.7 million in the year 2008 to 22.2 million by 2030. It is universally agreed that the condition is reaching epidemic proportions. At this time, the European Journal of Clinical Oncology is conveniently placed in the scholarly communication milieu to help counter the menace of cancer by aiding the development of novel treatment strategies, by providing novel insights into the mechanisms underlying this complex disease.

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John Robert

Managing Editor
European Journal of Clinical Oncology
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