Prognostic role of microRNAs in human gastrointestinal cancer: A systematic review and meta-analysis

Qiang Zheng, Changyu Chen, Haiyang Guan, Weibiao Kang and Changjun Yu _

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Oncotarget. 2017; 8:46611-46623. https://doi.org/10.18632/oncotarget.16679

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Qiang Zheng1,*, Changyu Chen2,*, Haiyang Guan3, Weibiao Kang1and Changjun Yu1

1 Department of Gastrointestinal Surgery, First Affiliated Hospital of Anhui Medical University, Hefei, China

2 Department of General Surgery, First Affiliated Hospital of Anhui Traditional Medical University, Hefei, China

3 Hefei National Laboratory for Physical Sciences at Microscale and School of Life Sciences, University of Science and Technology of China, Hefei, China

* These authors have contributed equally to this work

Correspondence to:

Changjun Yu, email:

Keywords: microRNAs, prognosis, gastrointestinal cancer, target, meta-analysis

Received: October 31, 2016 Accepted: March 09, 2017 Published: March 29, 2017


Background: Gastrointestinal cancers (GICs) mainly including esophageal, gastric and colorectal cancer, are the most common cause of cancer-related death and lead into high mortality worldwide. We performed this systematic review and meta-analysis to elucidate relationship between multiple microRNAs (miRs) expression and survival of GIC patients.

Methods: We searched a wide range of database. Fixed-effects and random-effects models were used to calculate the pooled hazard ratio values of overall survival and disease free survival. In addition, funnel plots were used to qualitatively analyze the publication bias and verified by Begg’s test while it seems asymmetry.

Results: 60 studies involving a total of 6225 patients (1271 with esophageal cancer, 3467 with gastric cancer and 1517 with colorectal cancer) were included in our meta-analysis. The pooled hazard ratio values of overall survival related to different miRs expression in esophageal, gastric, colorectal and gastrointestinal cancer were 2.10 (1.78-2.49), 2.02 (1.83-2.23), 2.54 (2.14-3.02) and 2.15 (1.99-2.31), respectively. We have identified a total of 59 miRs including 23 significantly up-regulated expression miRs (miR-214, miR-17, miR-20a, miR-200c, miR-107, miR-27a, etc.) and 36 significantly down-regulated expression miRs (miR-433, let-7g, miR-125a-5p, miR-760, miR-206, miR-26a, miR-200b, miR-185, etc.) correlated with poor prognosis in GIC patients. Moreover, 35 of them revealed mechanisms.

Conclusion: Overall, specific miRs are significantly associated with the prognosis of GIC patients and potentially eligible for the prediction of patients survival. It also provides a potential value for clinical decision-making development and may serve as a promising miR-based target therapy waiting for further elucidation.

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