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Biomarkers in breast cancer liquid biopsies: cell-free microRNAs and extracellular vesicles
  • Alfonso Costa ,
  • Alfonso Costa,
  • Duarte Pereira
Alfonso Costa

Corresponding Author:[email protected]

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Alfonso Costa
Department of bioscience, University of Porto
Duarte Pereira
Department of bioscience, University of Lisbon


The prognosis of breast cancer (BC) patients is greatly improved by preemptive diagnosis. Researchers are exploring the possibility of liquid biopsy based on circulating microRNAs (c-miRNAs) due to the absence of accurate biomarkers for diagnosis, prognosis, and, therapy follow up in BC. These c-miRNAs, which may be cell-free or coupled with extracellular vesicles (EVs), offer several benefits over conventional methods (core-biopsy and surgery), including stability in biofluids, noninvasive accessibility, and expression in response to pathogenic circumstances. Because of their precise vesicle sorting, EV-derived microRNAs (EV-miRNAs) have recently emerged as a potential new sector to use as cancer diagnostics. We summarize recent research on c-miRNA and their potential as biomarkers for breast cancer (BC) diagnosis, prognosis, and treatment. We also discuss how the lack of consensus on how best to analyze the data collected from these biomarkers can hinder their use in clinical practice. BACKGROUND