Despite the reduction in worldwide incidence, gastric cancer remains the second leading cause of death caused by cancer. The delayed diagnosis of gastric cancer in general practice manly occurs due to the absence of symptoms or the presence of non-specific symptoms in the early stages of the disease. Consequently, only a few effective therapeutic options are available, resulting in high morbidity and mortality rates. The continuous study of new strategies for early diagnosis and identification of new therapeutic methods is of great interest in this neoplastic type. In this context, microRNAs (miRNAs) are a class of small RNA molecules involved in the post-transcriptional process of gene expression regulation. These molecules may also be used as biomarkers for early disease detection, since miRNAs aberrant expression occurs before the disease symptoms are observed. Moreover, miRNAs can be detected in body fluids, including plasma/serum. Therefore, the goals of this project are: (I): investigate miRNAs expression in the gastric tissue of tumor patients and in non-tumor patients and (II) use serum samples (circulating and exosome miRNAs), from tumor and non-tumor individuals, to validate the differentially expressed miRNAs initially found in gastric cancer tissue. Recent reports indicate that circulating miRNAs have great potential to be used as both a reliable biomarker and therapeutic target. Thus, is of great interest to elucidate its biological and oncological roles and to establish new miRNAs biomarkers in cancer patients. Additionally, biomarker miRNAs may have pharmacogenomic application and may be used as targets in the development of new antineoplastic therapies.
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