Research Papers:

Diagnostic value of circulating miR-21: An update meta-analysis in various cancers and validation in endometrial cancer

Yun Gao, Meiyu Dai, Haihua Liu, Wangjiao He, Shengzhang Lin, Tianzhu Yuan, Hong Chen and Shengming Dai _

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Oncotarget. 2016; 7:68894-68908. https://doi.org/10.18632/oncotarget.12028

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Yun Gao1,*, Meiyu Dai1,*, Haihua Liu1, Wangjiao He1, Shengzhang Lin1, Tianzhu Yuan2, Hong Chen3, Shengming Dai1

1Medical Science Laboratory, The Fourth Affiliated Hospital of Guangxi Medical University, Liuzhou, Guangxi 545005, China

2Department of Thoracic Surgery, The Fourth Affiliated Hospital of Guangxi Medical University, Liuzhou, Guangxi 545005, China

3Department of Haematology, The Fourth Affiliated Hospital of Guangxi Medical University, Liuzhou, Guangxi 545005, China

*These authors have contributed equally to this work

Correspondence to:

Shengming Dai, email: [email protected]

Keywords: miR-21, cancers, meta-analysis, diagnosis, endometrial carcinoma

Received: March 30, 2016     Accepted: September 02, 2016     Published: September 15, 2016


MiR-21 has been identified as one of the most common proto-oncogenes. It is hypothesized that up-regulated miR-21 could be served as a potential biomarker for human cancer diagnosis. However, inconsistencies or discrepancies about diagnostic accuracy of circulating miR-21 still remain. In this sense, miR-21's diagnostic value needs to be fully validated. In this study, we performed an update meta-analysis to estimate the diagnostic value of circulating miR-21 in various human cancers. Additionally, we conducted a validation test on 50 endometrial cancer patients, 50 benign lesion patients and 50 healthy controls. A systematical literature search for relevant articles was performed in Pubmed, Embase and Cochrane Library. A total of 48 studies from 39 articles, involving 3,568 cancer patients and 2,248 controls, were included in this meta-analysis. The overall sensitivity, specificity, positive likelihood ratio (PLR), negative likelihood ratio (NLR), diagnostic odds ratio (DOR) and area under the curve (AUC) were 0.76 (0.71-0.80), 0.82 (0.79-0.85), 4.3 (3.6-5.1), 0.29 (0.24-0.35), 15 (11-20) and 0.86 (0.83-0.89), respectively. In the validation test, the expression levels of serum miR-21 were significantly higher in benign lesion patients (p = 0.003) and endometrial cancer patients (p = 0.000) compared with that of healthy controls. Endometrial cancer patients showed higher miR-21 expression levels (p = 0.000) compared with benign lesion patients. In conclusion, the meta-analysis shows that circulating miR-21 has excellent performance on the diagnosis for various cancers and the validation test demonstrates that serum miR-21 could be served as a novel biomarker for endometrial carcinoma.

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