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Regulus Preclinical Data Shows Liver Cancer Biomarker Potential of microRNAs

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Regulus Therapeutics this week announced the presentation of preclinical data showing that circulating microRNAs may be effective biomarkers for determining tumor growth and systemic response disease in liver cancer.

The findings were released at this year's American Association for Cancer Research annual meeting.

Among Regulus' oncology efforts are programs focusing on miR-21 and miR-221, both of which have been linked to liver cancer. As part of its research in the area, the company looked at whether circulating miRNAs could act as disease biomarkers in a mouse model of the disease.

According to a poster presented at AACR, Regulus investigators found that deregulation of liver miRNA profiles increases with tumor size and that miRNAs in serum "reflect both changes in tumor tissues and systemic response to tumor burden."

Notably, most of the changes in both liver and serum are reversed upon inhibition of the driving oncogene — in the case of the animal models, HRAS.

"Thus, circulating microRNAs are promising candidates for tumor detection, as well as monitoring disease progression and treatment response," the scientists concluded in their poster.

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