The roles of ncRNAs in the diagnosis, prognosis and clinicopathological features of breast cancer: a systematic review and meta-analysis

Shihui Tang, Wei Fan, Jiang Xie, Qiaoling Deng, Ping Wang, June Wang, Peipei Xu, Zheng Zhang, Yirong Li and Mingxia Yu _

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Oncotarget. 2017; 8:81215-81225. https://doi.org/10.18632/oncotarget.20149

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Shihui Tang1, Wei Fan1,2, Jiang Xie3, Qiaoling Deng1, Ping Wang1, June Wang1, Peipei Xu1, Zheng Zhang1, Yirong Li1 and Mingxia Yu1

1Department of Clinical Laboratory & Center for Gene Diagnosis, Zhongnan Hospital of Wuhan University, Wuhan, Hubei, 430071, China

2Department of Pathology, Zhongnan Hospital of Wuhan University, Wuhan, Hubei, 430071, China

3Department of Otorhinolaryngology and Head & Neck Surgery, Hunan Children’s Hospital, University of South China Hengyang, Hunan, 421000, China

Correspondence to:

Mingxia Yu, email: [email protected]

Yirong Li, email: [email protected]

Keywords: noncoding RNA, breast cancer, meta-analysis, prognosis, diagnosis

Received: November 07, 2016    Accepted: April 12, 2017    Published: August 10, 2017


Background: A number of studies have shown that noncoding RNAs (ncRNAs) are abnormally expressed in breast cancers. However, the roles of ncRNAs remain unclear in breast cancer. Here, we aim to investigate the potential diagnostic and prognostic roles of ncRNAs in breast cancer.

Methods: Comprehensive literature search in Medline and Web of Science and a meta-analysis were performed to identify the association between ncRNAs and diagnosis, prognosis, and clinicopathological features of breast cancer.

Results: A total of 103 eligible studies, involving16, 828 independent participants, were included in the meta-analysis. In total, there were 98 individual and 11 grouped ncRNAs. 51 studies were eligible for survival analysis, 27 studies were eligible for diagnostic analysis, and 46 studies were eligible for clinicopathological features analysis. The abnormal expression of ncRNAs is associated with OS, RFS and PFS in breast cancer patients. For the diagnosis value of ncRNAs, the pooled OR and 95% CI for sensitivity, specificity, DOR and AUC on all ncRNAs were 0.83 [95% CI: 0.82- 0.84], 0.80 [95% CI: 0.79- 0.82], 24.77 [95% CI: 17.44- 35.16] and 0.9037, respectively. The analysis showed that downregulation of ncRNAs in breast cancer was associated with decreased risk of LNM, increased tumor size and PR expression, whereas, upregulation of ncRNAs was associated with increased HER2 expression.

Conclusions: High expression of ncRNAs was associated with poor OS, RFS, and PFS, while low expression of ncRNAs was related to favorable OS and RFS. Meanwhile, ncRNAs have potential diagnostic value for breast cancer.

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