Limited Diagnostic Value of microRNAs for Detecting Colorectal Cancer: A Meta-analysis


Background: MicroRNAs have been demonstrated to play important roles in the development and progressionof colorectal cancer. Several studies utilizing microRNAs as diagnostic biomarkers for colorectal cancer (CRC)have been reported. The aim of this meta-analysis was to comprehensively and quantitatively summarize thediagnostic value of microRNAs for detecting colorectal cancer.
Methods: We searched PubMed, Embase andCochrane Library for published studies that used microRNAs as biomarkers for the diagnosis of colorectalcancer. Summary estimates for sensitivity, specificity and other measures of accuracy of microRNAs in thediagnosis of colorectal cancer were calculated using the bivariate random effects model. A summary receiveroperating characteristic (SROC) curve was also generated to summarize the overall effectiveness of the test.
Result: Thirteen studies from twelve published articles met the inclusion criteria and were included. The overallsensitivity, specificity, positive likelihood ratio, negative likelihood ratio and diagnostic odd ratio of microRNAsfor the diagnosis of colorectal cancer were 0.81 (95%CI: 0.79-0.84), 0.78 (95%CI: 0.75-0.82), 4.14 (95%CI: 2.90-5.92), 0.24 (95%CI: 0.19-0.30), and 19.2 (95%CI: 11.7-31.5), respectively. The area under the SROC curve was0.89.
Conclusions: The current evidence suggests that the microRNAs test might not be used alone as a screeningtool for CRC. Combining microRNAs testing with other conventional tests such as FOBT may improve thediagnostic accuracy for detecting CRC.