• Quantification of Plasma miRNAs by Digital PCR for Cancer Diagnosis.

      Ma, Jie; Li, Ning; Guarnera, Maria; Jiang, Feng (SAGE Publications Inc., 2013-11-14)
      otential approach for cancer diagnosis. However, absolutely quantifying low abundant plasma miRNAs is challenging with qPCR. Digital PCR offers a unique means for assessment of nucleic acids presenting at low levels in plasma. This study aimed to evaluate the efficacy of digital PCR for quantification of plasma miRNAs and the potential utility of this technique for cancer diagnosis. We used digital PCR to quantify the copy number of plasma microRNA-21-5p (miR-21–5p) and microRNA-335–3p (miR-335–3p) in 36 lung cancer patients and 38 controls. Digital PCR showed a high degree of linearity and quantitative correlation with miRNAs in a dynamic range from 1 to 10,000 copies/μL of input, with high reproducibility. qPCR exhibited a dynamic range from 100 to 1X107 copies/μL of input. Digital PCR had a higher sensitivity to detect copy number of the miRNAs compared with qPCR. In plasma, digital PCR could detect copy number of both miR-21–5p and miR-335–3p, whereas qPCR was only able to assess miR-21–5p. Quantification of the plasma miRNAs by digital PCR provided 71.8% sensitivity and 80.6% specificity in distinguishing lung cancer patients from cancer-free subjects.