Research Papers:

MicroRNA-21 as a potential diagnostic biomarker for breast cancer patients: a pooled analysis of individual studies

Ying Gao, Qiliang Cai, Yubei Huang, Shu Li, Hongxi Yang, Li Sun, Kexin Chen and Yaogang Wang _

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Oncotarget. 2016; 7:34498-34506. https://doi.org/10.18632/oncotarget.9142

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Ying Gao1,2,*, Qiliang Cai3,*, Yubei Huang2,*, Shu Li1, Hongxi Yang1, Li Sun1, Kexin Chen2, Yaogang Wang1

1Department of Health Service Management, School of Public Health, Tianjin Medical University, Tianjin, 300070, China

2Department of Cancer Epidemiology and Biostatistics, Tianjin Medical University Cancer Institute and Hospital, Tianjin, 300060, China

3Department of Urology, The Second Hospital of Tianjin Medical University, Tianjin, 300211, China

*Co-first authors, these authors contributed equally to this work

Correspondence to:

Yaogang Wang, email: [email protected]

Keywords: microRNA-21, breast cancer, diagnostic, biomarker, meta-analysis

Received: January 17, 2016     Accepted: April 16, 2016     Published: May 02, 2016


MicroRNA-21 (miR-21) has been reported as the potential novel diagnostic biomarker for breast cancer in several studies, but their results were inconsistent. Therefore, we conducted a systematic analysis to evaluate the diagnostic value of miR-21 in detecting breast cancer. A comprehensive electronic and manual search was conducted for relevant literatures through several databases up to November 9, 2015. QUADAS-2 was used to assess the quality of the studies included in the study. All statistical analyses were performed using Meta-Disc 1.4 and Stata 12.0. Eleven studies with a total of 918 breast cancer patients and 613 controls were included. The pooled sensitivity, specificity, positive likelihood ratio (PLR), negative likelihood ratio (NLR), and diagnostic odds ratio (DOR) with their 95% confidence intervals (CIs) were 0.72 (95% CI: 0.69–0.75), 0.80 (95% CI: 0.77–0.83), 3.37 (95% CI: 2.24–5.07), 0.30 (95% CI: 0.19–0.50), and 11.79 (95% CI: 5.23–26.57), respectively. The area under the curve of SROC was 0.8517. In conclusion, our analyses suggested that miR-21 is a promising biomarker in diagnosing breast cancer. For clinical purpose, further large-scale studies are warranted to validate its clinical application.

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