Agilent Helps Uncover a Link Between microRNAs and Prostate Cancer

Researchers have used Agilent equipment to identify a link between microRNAs and prostate cancer.

Prostate cancer is one of the most common forms of cancer in men (after skin cancer).  While most prostate cancer can be treated successfully if detected early, it is still the second-leading cause of cancer deaths among men.

MicroRNAs, which were first discovered in 1993, are small molecules in the genome that help regulate gene expression.  They affect many aspects of development and physiology in plants, animals and some viruses.  Scientists believe that miRNAs play a key role in the differentiation, growth, mobility, and even death of cells.  Dysregulation of miRNAs has been linked to various types of cancer.

Researchers in the U.S. and Turkey sought to identify a unique miRNA biomarker that could help distinguish prostate cancer from benign prostate hyperplasia.  Using microarrays to examine prostate secretion samples (PSS), they discovered four miRNAs that were consistently unregulated or significantly down-regulated in prostate cancer patients.

Their conclusion is that these differentially expressed miRNAs could be used as diagnostics markers, and recommend PSS as a powerful non-invasive source for evaluation during routine examinations.

The scientists used Agilent technologies and solutions for their research, including Agilent Human miRNA Microarrays, Agilent reagents, an Agilent SureScan Microarray Scanner and Agilent software.

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