The diagnostic and prognostic significance of long noncoding RNAs expression in thyroid cancer

Thyroid cancer (TC) is the most common malignant endocrine-related cancer with an increasing trend worldwide. Therefore, it’s in urgent need to find new markers for prognosis and diagnosis. Many long noncoding RNAs (lncRNAs) have been reported to be aberrantly expressed in TC, and may serve as biomarkers. Researchers at Zhengzhou University performed a meta-analysis to systematically summarize the relationship between lncRNA expressions and TC.

For diagnostic value, lncRNAs could discriminate between TC and the normal, and yield a high overall sensitivity and specificity (0.80, 95% CI: 0.75-0.84; 0.80, 95% CI: 0.70-0.87). Meanwhile, their sensitivity and specificity were 0.74 (95% CI: 0.59-0.85) and 0.81 (95% CI: 0.73-0.88) respectively, when used to differentiate patients with lymph node metastasis (LNM) from without LNM. The summary receiver operator characteristic curve (sROC) showed that lncRNAs could be considered as valuable diagnostic markers for distinguishing TC patients from the normal (AUC = 0.84) and TC patients with LNM from TC patients without LNM (AUC = 0.85).

 Forest plots of sensitivities and specificities of lncRNAs for the diagnosis of thyroid cancer


A. thyroid cancer and the normal; B. thyroid cancer with lymph node metastasis and without lymph node metastasis.

In summary, this meta-analysis suggested that lncRNAs could function as potential diagnostic markers for TC and predict the LNM. In addition, the systematic review elaborated that lncRNAs might be as prognostic indicators in TC.

Jing W, Li X, Peng R, Lv S, Zhang Y, Cao Z, Tu J, Ming L. (2018) The diagnostic and prognostic significance of long noncoding RNAs expression in thyroid cancer: A systematic review and meta-analysis. Pathol Res Pract [Epub ahead of print]. [abstract]

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