Circulating miRNA for Early Diagnosis of Multiple Myeloma

Mark S. Lesney, PhD

November 25, 2020

Circulating microRNAs (miRNAs) could be a potential noninvasive biomarker for early diagnosis of multiple myeloma (MM), according to the results of a meta-analysis published online in the Journal of Bone Oncology.

In recent years, because of the rise of the miRNA technique, many scholars have studied its value in the diagnosis of MM, and have obtained good but inconsistent results, according to Shuai-Shuai Gao, of the Xi'an (China) Daxing Hospital, and colleagues. For this reason, they conducted the meta-analysis in order to more clearly determine the role of miRNA in the early diagnosis of MM. The meta-analysis ultimately assessed 32 studies from 15 articles comprising 2,053 MM patients and 1,118 healthy controls.

All the included studies involved newly diagnosed MM patients and healthy controls; the obtained miRNA was derived from serum or plasma specimens; and the report contained relevant statistics such as sensitivity, specificity, and area-under-the-curve values.

High Sensitivity and Specificity

The researchers found that the overall sensitivity and specificity of using miRNAs for the diagnosis of MM were 0.81 and 0.85, respectively. In addition, the overall positive likelihood ratio, negative likelihood ratio, diagnostic odds ratio, and area under the curve were 5.5, 0.22, 25 and 0.90, respectively.

A subgroup analysis showed that the down-regulation of miRNA clusters with larger samples size of plasma type could carry out a better diagnostic accuracy of MM patients, according to the authors.

"[Circulating miRNAs] not only had high sensitivity and strong specificity, but also had noninvasive and no radiation risks. It is worth continuing to optimize its practicality. In the future, multicenter, more rigorous, and high-quality case-control studies are still needed in clinical practice to improve the efficacy of circulating miRNA in the early diagnosis of MM," the researchers concluded.

The study did not receive any outside funding and the researchers reported that they had no conflicts.

SOURCE: Gao S-S et al. J Bone Oncol. 2020 Oct 21. doi: 10.1016/j.jbo.2020.100327.

This article originally appeared on MDedge.com, part of the Medscape Professional Network.

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