Flow diagram of methods and matrices explored for discovering a circulating miRNA signature for nasopharyngeal carcinoma in a training set of samples. Both targeted, (microarray) and an untargeted (small RNA-Seq) approaches were used to determine relative expression levels of miRNA in FFPE NPC tumor tissue compared to normal control tissue (black arrows). Based on this analysis, qPCR was used to confirm miRNA expression levels in tissue and to target these miRNAs in sera (colored thick arrows). qPCR results showed miRNA expression levels in sera had little correlation with tissue RNA-Seq used to profile expression levels in this same sample matrix. Cognate serology support verification and correlation of detected miRNAs (red arrow).