Evaluation of the Sensitivity and Specificity of Circulating MicroRNAs to Diagnose Breast Cancer: A Systematic Review and Meta-analysis

Document Type : Review Article


1 School of Medicine, Capital Medical University, Beijing, China

2 Department of General Surgery, Fudan University Affiliated Huadong Hospital, Shanghai 200040, China

3 Medical Center of Digestive Disease, The Second Affiliated Hospital of Nanjing Medical University, Nanjing, China

4 Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, The second Affiliated Hospital of Soochow University, Suzhou, China


Background and aim: Today, scientists use cell-free circulating microRNAs (miRNAs) biomarkers to identify, control, and treat cancer, even in its early stages. The present study aimed to evaluate the sensitivity and specificity of circulating microRNAs to diagnose breast cancer.
Material and methods: The search was conducted based on keywords related to the study objectives in the international databases PubMed, Scopus, Science Direct, ISI, Web of Knowledge, and Embase between January 2015 and March 2023. Effect size (95% confidence interval) was calculated using the fixed effect model with the inverse-variance method. STATA/MP. V17 software was used for meta-analysis.
Results: In the present study, 31 articles were included in the meta-analysis. Sensitivity of circulating microRNAs to diagnose breast cancer was 85% (ES: 0.85 [95% CI: 0.74, 0.95]. Specificity of circulating microRNAs to diagnose breast cancer was 85% (ES: 0.85 [95% CI: 0.75, 0.96]. The AUC of miR-21 to diagnose breast cancer was 84% (ES: 0.84 [95% CI: 0.71, 0.97].
Conclusions: Based on the present meta-analysis, circulating microRNAs are promising biomarkers in breast cancer diagnosis.


Main Subjects

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Volume 5, Issue 1
March 2023
Pages 35-47
  • Receive Date: 09 January 2023
  • Revise Date: 01 March 2023
  • Accept Date: 09 March 2023
  • First Publish Date: 11 March 2023