INTRODUCTION: MicroRNAs (miRNAs) can serve as tumor biomarkers; however, their role in evaluating colorectal adenoma (CRA) is unclear. Recently, the organoid culture system enabled long-term expansion of human colon epithelium. This study aimed to examine the potential of exosomal miRNAs extracted from CRA organoids as biomarkers in the clinical liquid biopsy CRA test. METHODS: We established organoid cultures from normal colon and CRA using resected specimens. Exosomes were isolated from the conditioned medium organoids. MiRNAs were isolated from the exosomes, and their expression profiles were compared using microarray analysis. To identify miRNA candidates for liquid biopsy, we prospectively compared changes in their expression in serum and exosomes before and after endoscopic resection in 26 patients with CRA. RESULTS: Seven exosomal miRNAs were overexpressed in CRA organoids: miR-4323, miR-4284, miR-1268a, miR-1290, miR-6766-3p, miR-21-5p, and miR-1246. The expression levels of 4 exosomal miRNAs (miR-4323, miR-4284, miR-1290, and miR-1246) and 2 serum miRNAs (miR-1290 and miR-1246) were significantly lower in posttreatment sera. The combined expression of 4 exosomal miRNAs could identify both CRA and large-size (>12.6 cm2) CRA with respective areas under the curve of 0.698 (95% confidence interval [CI] = 0.536-0.823) and 0.834 (95% CI = 0.660-0.929). Combinations of 2-serum miRNA expression values could identify both CRA and large-size CRA with respective area under the curves of 0.691 (95% CI = 0.528-0.817) and 0.834 (95% CI = 0.628-0.938). DISCUSSION: We found that exosomal miRNAs derived from the CRA organoid culture could be potential diagnostic biomarkers for CRA.
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