An early biomarker and potential therapeutic target of RUNX 3 hypermethylation in breast cancer, a system review and meta-analysis

De-guo Lu, Ying-mei Ma, Ai-ju Zhu and Yun-wei Han _

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Oncotarget. 2017; 8:22166-22174. https://doi.org/10.18632/oncotarget.13125

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De-guo Lu1, Ying-mei Ma2, Ai-ju Zhu3 and Yun-wei Han4

1 Clinical Laboratory, Linyi People’s Hospital, Linyi, Shandong, P.R. China

2 Clinical Laboratory, Linyi Chest Hospital, Linyi, Shandong, P.R. China

3 Department of ophtalmology, Linyi People’s Hospital, Linyi, Shandong, P.R. China

4 Department of Oncology, The Affiliated Hospital of Southwest Medical University, Luzhou, Sichuan, P. R. China

Correspondence to:

Yun-wei Han, email:

Keywords: RUNX3, methylation, odds ratio, prognosis, drug target

Received: September 01, 2016 Accepted: October 12, 2016 Published: November 04, 2016


Runt-related transcription factor 3 (RUNX3) methylation plays an important role in the carcinogenesis of breast cancer (BC). However, the association between RUNX3 hypermethylation and significance of BC remains under investigation. The purpose of this study is to perform a meta-analysis and literature review to evaluate the clinicopathological significance of RUNX3 hypermethylation in BC. A comprehensive literature search was performed in Medline, Web of Science, EMBASE, Cochrane Library Database, CNKI and Google scholar. A total of 10 studies and 747 patients were included for the meta-analysis. Pooled odds ratios (ORs) with corresponding confidence intervals (CIs) were evaluated and summarized respectively. RUNX3 hypermethylation was significantly correlated with the risk of ductal carcinoma in situ (DCIS) and invasive ductal carcinoma (IDC), OR was 50.37, p < 0.00001 and 22.66, p < 0.00001 respectively. Interestingly, the frequency of RUNX3 hypermethylation increased in estrogen receptor (ER) positive BC, OR was 12.12, p = 0.005. High RUNX3 mRNA expression was strongly associated with better relapse-free survival (RFS) in BC patients. In summary, RUNX3 methylation could be a promising early biomarker for the diagnosis of BC. High RUNX3 mRNA expression is correlated to better RFS in BC patients. RUNX3 could be a potential therapeutic target for the development of personalized therapy.

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