Esophageal adenocarcinoma (EAC), the major histologic type of esophageal cancer (EC) in Western countries, is a disease with a poor prognosis, primarily due to usual diagnosis at an advanced stage. The prevalence of EAC has increased in recent years, both in Western countries and in Asia. Barrett’s esophagus (BE) is a precursor lesion of EAC. Therefore, early detection and proper management of BE and EAC is important to improve prognosis. Here, we systematically summarize current knowledge about the potential utility of extracellular microRNAs (miRNAs), which are thought to be non-invasive biomarkers for many diseases, for these purposes. A search of the PubMed and Embase databases identified 22 papers about extracellular miRNAs that have potential utility for management of EAC. Among them, 19 were EAC-related and ten were BE-related; some of these dealt with both conditions. The articles included studies reporting diagnosis, prognosis, and treatment responses. Multiple papers report dysregulation of miR-194-5p in BE and miR-21-5p, -25-3p, and -93-5p in EAC. Although it will take time to utilize these miRNAs in clinical practice, they are likely to be useful non-invasive markers in the future.
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