Identification of a stool long non-coding RNAs panel as a potential biomarker for early detection of colorectal cancer

Colorectal Cancer

J Clin Lab Anal. 2020 Oct 23:e23601. doi: 10.1002/jcla.23601. Online ahead of print.


BACKGROUND: The feces of colorectal cancer (CRC) patients contain tumor colonocytes, which constantly shed into the lumen area. Therefore, stool evaluation can be considered as a rapid and low-risk way to directly determine the colon and rectum status. As long non-coding RNAs (lncRNAs) alterations are important in cancer cells fate regulation, we aimed to assess the level of a panel of cancer-related lncRNAs in fecal colonocytes.

METHODS: The population study consisted of 150 subjects, including a training set, a validation set, and a group of 30 colon polyps. The expression levels of lncRNAs were evaluated by quantitative real-time PCR (qRT-PCR). The NPInetr and EnrichR tools were used to identify the interactions and functions of lncRNAs.

RESULTS: A total of 10 significantly dysregulated lncRNAs, including CCAT1, CCAT2, H19, HOTAIR, HULC, MALAT1, PCAT1, MEG3, PTENP1, and TUSC7, were chosen for designing a predictive panel. The diagnostic performance of the panel in distinguishing CRCs from the healthy group was AUC: 0.8554 in the training set and 0.8465 in the validation set. The AUC for early CRCs (I-II TNM stages) was 0.8554 in the training set and 0.8465 in the validation set, and for advanced CRCs (III-IV TNM stages) were 0.9281 in the training set and 0.9236 in the validation set. The corresponding AUC for CRCs vs polyps were 0.9228 (I-IV TNM stages), 0.9042 (I-II TNM stages), and 0.9362 (III-IV TNM stages).

CONCLUSIONS: These data represented the application of analysis of fecal colonocytes lncRNAs in early detection of CRC.