Prognostic Value of miRNAs in Head and Neck Cancers: A Comprehensive Systematic and Meta-Analysis

Chellan Kumarasamy, Royam Madhav Madurantakam, Shanthi Sabarimurugan, Sunil Krishnan, Siddharta Baxi, Ajay Gupta, K. M. Gothandam, Rama Jayaraj

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    Head and Neck Cancer (HNC) is the sixth most common type of cancer across the globe, with more than 300,000 deaths each year, globally. However, there are currently no standardised molecular markers that assist in determining HNC prognosis. The literature for this systematic review and meta-analysis were sourced from multiple bibliographic databases. This review followed PRISMA guidelines. The Hazard Ratio (HR) was selected as the effect size metric to independently assess overall survival (OS), disease-free survival (DFS), and prognosis. Subgroup analysis was performed for individual highly represented miRNA. A total of 6843 patients across 50 studies were included in the systematic review and 34 studies were included in the meta-analysis. Studies across 12 countries were assessed, with China representing 36.7% of all included studies. The analysis of the survival endpoints of OS and DFS were conducted separately, with the overall pooled effect size (HR) for each being 1.825 (95% CI 1.527–2.181; p < 0.05) and 2.596 (95% CI 1.917–3.515; p < 0.05), respectively. Subgroup analysis was conducted for impact of miR-21, 200b, 155, 18a, 34c-5p, 125b, 20a and 375 on OS, and miR-21 and 34a on DFS. The pooled results were found to be statistically significant for both OS and DFS. The meta-analysis indicated that miRNA alterations can account for an 82.5% decrease in OS probability and a 159.6% decrease in DFS probability. These results indicate that miRNAs have potential clinical value as prognostic biomarkers in HNC, with miR-21, 125b, 34c-5p and 18a, in particular, showing great potential as prognostic molecular markers. Further large scale cohort studies focusing on these miRNAs are recommended to verify the clinical utility of these markers individually and/or in combination.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)1-30
    Number of pages30
    Issue number8
    Publication statusPublished - 25 Jul 2019


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