Novel blood-based microRNA biomarkers for diagnosis of pancreatic cancer: a meta-analysis

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Background:Recently, several studies have shown that blood-based microRNAs in patients with pancreatic cancer (PC) could be aberrantly expressed. The purpose of this meta-analysis was to evaluate blood-based microRNAs as novel biomarkers for diagnosis of PC.Methods:Eligible studies which had evaluated the diagnostic performance of blood-based microRNAs and had been published from February 2004 to February 2014 were retrieved. The quality of the studies was evaluated with the QUADAS-2 tool. The performance characteristics were pooled using random-effects models. Statistical analysis was performed with STATA and Meta-Disc1.4 software.Results:The global meta-analysis included 12 studies from 8 articles, which contained 1,060 blood-based samples of PC patients and 935 blood-based samples of non-PC patients. Summary results suggested pooled sensitivity of 0.87 (95% confidence interval [95% CI], 0.85-0.89), specificity 0.92 (95% CI, 0.90-0.94), positive likelihood ratio 11.18 (95% CI, 5.57-22.46), negative likelihood ratio 0.16 (95% CI, 0.11-0.23), diagnostic odds ratio 88.98 (95% CI, 39.85-198.69) and the area under the summary receiver operating characteristic (SROC) curve 0.96.Conclusions:This meta-analysis demonstrated blood-based microRNA expression profiles with the potential to discriminate PC patients from non-PC patients, which have moderate diagnostic accuracy. However, further validation studies are needed for their clinical significance in the diagnosis of PC to be established.

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