Identification of Circulating Long Noncoding RNA HOTAIR as a Novel Biomarker for Diagnosis and Monitoring of Non–Small Cell Lung Cancer

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Abstract

Long noncoding RNA (LncRNA) homeotic genes (HOX) transcript antisense RNA (HOTAIR) has been reported to play a vital role in various cancers. It has been found that HOTAIR was upregulated in non–small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) and involved in cell invasion and metastasis. The aberrant expression of HOTAIR is expected to serve as a potential biomarker for patients with NSCLC. Our aim in this study was to detect the plasma levels of HOTAIR and further evaluate its diagnostic value for NSCLC. The levels of HOTAIR were measured in 105 patients with NSCLC and 80 healthy controls by quantitative real-time polymerase chain reaction. The results indicated that plasma HOTAIR levels were higher in NSCLC than in healthy controls. Besides, plasma HOTAIR levels were associated with histology subtype (P = .039) and tumor-node-metastasis stage (P = .022). The ROC curves showed that plasma HOTAIR has high diagnostic accuracy for NSCLC, and the area under curve (AUC) for NSCLC versus healthy was 0.791 (95% CI: 0.727-0.855) which was higher than carcinoembryonic antigen (CEA) (AUC = 0.737, 95% CI: 0.666-0.808). Moreover, the combination of HOTAIR and CEA could provide a more accurate diagnosis than HOTAIR or CEA alone (AUC = 0.841, 95% CI: 0.783-0.898). Plasma HOTAIR levels were significantly lower in postoperative samples than in preoperative samples. Plasma HOTAIR could serve as a promising biomarker for diagnosing and monitoring NSCLC.

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