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Meta-analysis of the prognostic value of abnormally expressed lncRNAs in hepatocellular carcinoma

Authors Qu Z, Yuan C, Yin C, Guan Q, Chen H, Wang F

Received 16 March 2016

Accepted for publication 22 June 2016

Published 18 August 2016 Volume 2016:9 Pages 5143—5152

DOI https://doi.org/10.2147/OTT.S108599

Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single-blind

Peer reviewers approved by Dr Ram Prasad

Peer reviewer comments 3

Editor who approved publication: Professor Min Li


Zhen Qu,1,* Chun-Hui Yuan,2,* Chang-Qing Yin,1 Qing Guan,2 Hao Chen,1 Fu-Bing Wang1

1Department of Laboratory Medicine and Center for Gene Diagnosis, Zhongnan Hospital of Wuhan University, 2Department of Immunology, School of Basic Medical Sciences, Wuhan University, Wuhan, People’s Republic of China

*These authors contributed equally to this work

Abstract: Many long noncoding RNAs (lncRNAs) have been reported to be abnormally expressed in hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC), and may have the potential to serve as prognostic markers. In this study, a meta-analysis was conducted to systematically evaluate the prognostic value of various lncRNAs in HCC. Eligible literatures were systematically collected from PubMed, Embase, Web of Science, and Cochrane Library (up to December 30, 2015). The main outcomes including overall survival, relapse-free survival, and disease-free survival were analyzed. Pooled hazard ratios (HRs) and 95% confidence intervals (95% CIs) were calculated using random- or fixed-effects models. A total of 2,991 patients with HCC in People’s Republic of China from 27 studies were included in the analysis. The level of lncRNAs showed a significant association with clinical outcomes. Abnormally elevated lncRNA transcription level predicted poor overall survival (HR: 1.68, 95% CI: 1.20–2.34, P=0.002; I2=75.5%, P=0.000) and relapse-free survival (HR: 2.08, 95% CI: 1.65–2.61, P<0.001; I2=24.0%, P=0.215), while no association was observed with disease-free survival of HCC patients (HR: 1.39, 95% CI: 0.51–3.78, P=0.524; I2=81.3%, P=0.005). Subgroup analysis further showed that lncRNA transcription level was significantly associated with tumor size (relative risk [RR]: 1.19, 95% CI: 1.01–1.39, P=0.035), microvascular invasion (RR: 1.44, 95% CI: 1.10–1.89, P=0.009), and portal vein tumor thrombus (RR: 1.50, 95% CI: 1.03–2.20, P=0.036). Publication bias and sensitivity analysis further confirmed the stability of our results. Our present meta-analysis indicates that abnormal lncRNA transcription level may serve as a promising indicator for prognostic evaluation of patients with HCC in People’s Republic of China.

Keywords: lncRNA, HCC, survival, prognosis, meta-analysis

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