Previous studies revealed that circulating (either from plasma or serum) long non-coding RNA may predict the occurrence or prognosis of multiple human malignant tumors. In this study, researchers from Nanjing Medical University mainly explored whether circulating lncRNAs can be utilized as biomarkers predicting the development of human esophageal squamous cell carcinoma (ESCC).
LncRNA microarray was applied to screen the potential biomarkers for ESCC. Each group contained three individual plasma samples. A multi-stage validation and risk score formula detection were used for validation.
Eleven dysregulated lncRNAs were obtained after Venny analysis. Further validation in a larger cohort including 205 ESCC patients, 82 patients suffering from esophagus dysplasia and 210 healthy controls confirmed that increased Linc00152, CFLAR-AS1 and POU3F3 might be potential biomarkers for predicting the early progress with an area under curve (AUC) of 0.698, 0.651 and 0.584, respectively. The merged AUC of the three factors and merged with CEA was 0.765 and 0.955, respectively. The researchers also revealed that circulating levels of three lncRNAs were associated with poor post-surgery prognosis of ESCC patients.
Multiple phase validation
The 11 selected lncRNAs were further amplified in a larger sample including 205 ESCC patients, 82 dysplasia patients and 210 healthy controls. Only three lncRNAs (Linc00152, CFLAR-AS1 and POU3F3) was validated as significant up-regulated in both ESCC patients and dysplasia patients comparing with the control group while the rest 8 lncRNAs presented a disqualification.