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Diagnostic and prognostic values of circular RNAs for lung cancer: a meta-analysis
  1. Qian Yang1,
  2. Lizhen Chen2,
  3. Li Yang1,
  4. Yuanshuai Huang1
  1. 1Department of Transfusion, The Affiliated Hospital of Southwest Medical University, Luzhou, Sichuan, China
  2. 2Prenatal Diagnosis Center, The Affiliated Hospital of Southwest Medical University, Luzhou, Sichuan, China
  1. Correspondence to Dr Yuanshuai Huang, Department of Transfusion, The Affiliated Hospital of Southwest Medical University, Luzhou, Sichuan 646000, China; hys{at}


Circular RNAs (circRNAs) may serve as potential biomarkers for patients with lung cancer. The aim of this meta-analysis was to analyse the diagnostic, prognostic and clinicopathological values of circRNAs in lung cancer patients. A systematic search of PubMed, Embase, Web of Science, Scopus and the Cochrane Library databases was performed for relevant articles from inception to 29 January 2020. Pooled parameters including sensitivity, specificity and area under the curve (AUC) were used to assess the diagnostic performance, HRs and 95% CIs were used to evaluate overall survival (OS) and ORs were used to estimate clinicopathological parameters. 52 studies from 45 articles were enrolled in this study, including 17 on diagnosis and 35 on prognosis. For diagnostic values, circRNAs could discriminate lung cancer patients from the controls, with AUC of 0.83 (95% CI: 0.79 to 0.86), a relatively high sensitivity of 0.77 (95% CI: 0.73 to 0.81) and specificity of 0.75 (95% CI: 0.71 to 0.79). For prognostic significances, overexpression of 23 upregulated circRNAs was relevant to a poor prognosis (OS: HR=2.21, 95% CI: 1.96 to 2.49, p<0.001), and overexpression of 9 downregulated circRNAs was correlated with a favourable prognosis (OS: HR=0.62, 95% CI: 0.53 to 0.73, p<0.001). As for clinicopathological parameters, high expression of 23 upregulated circRNAs was associated with unfavourable clinicopathological features while 9 downregulated circRNAs proved the contrary. In conclusion, this study confirmed that circRNAs might serve as important biomarkers for diagnostic and prognostic values of lung cancer.

  • lung cancer
  • meta-analysis
  • diagnosis
  • prognosis

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  • Contributors QY and YH designed the study. LY and LC performed the literature search and data extraction. LC and QY analysed the data. QY and LC drafted the manuscript. YH revised the draft. All authors read and approved the final manuscript.

  • Funding This work was supported by the Project of Health and Family Planning Commission of Sichuan Province (No. 17PJ519).

  • Competing interests None declared.

  • Patient consent for publication Not required.

  • Ethics approval The study has been registered on the PROSPERO website (ID: CRD42020164372), and it was performed according to the guidelines of PRISMA.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.

  • Data availability statement Data are available upon reasonable request. The data sets used in the meta-analysis are available from the corresponding author on reasonable request.

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