Background: Emerging data demonstrated that circulating microRNA-18a (miR-18a) expression level was significantly different between gastric carcinoma individuals and healthy groups, implying that miR-18a may be a potential biomarker for gastric cancer. Nevertheless, the reports remain inconsistent. This meta-analysis was performed to evaluate the diagnostic value of miR-18a in gastric tumor detection.
Methods: All the relevant papers were searched and collected until July 2017 in PubMed, Cochrane Library, Wiley Online Library, Chinese National Knowledge Infrastructure (CNKI), Technology of Chongqing (VIP), and Wanfang Database. Data was extracted from eligible studies. Diagnostic performance of miR-18a for gastric cancer were evaluated using STATA (version 12.0) and MetaDisc (version 1.4) statistical software.
Results: Three studies were included in this meta-analysis with a total of 235 gastric cancer patients and 136 controls enrolled. The pooled sensitivity and specificity, positive likelihood ratio (PLR), negative likelihood ratio (NLR), and diagnostic odds ratio (DOR) of circulating miR-18a to discriminate GC patients were 0.76 (95% confidence interval CI: 0.70, 0.81), 0.73 (95% CI: 0.65, 0.80), 2.76 (95% CI: 2.08, 3.65), 0.32 (95% CI: 0.19, 0.55), and 9.12 (95% CI: 4.36, 19.09), respectively. The area under the summary receiver operator characteristic (SROC) curve was 0.82.
Conclusions: miR-18a could be a promising noninvasive biomarker in gastric carcinoma diagnosis. Further prospective studies should be conducted to highlight the theoretical strengths before its use in clinic.