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Int J Med Sci. 2019 Jan 1;16(2):292-301. doi: 10.7150/ijms.28047. eCollection 2019.

Circular RNA: a novel biomarker and therapeutic target for human cancers.

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Department of Pathophysiology, Third Military Medical University, Chongqing 400038, China.
Department of Microbiology and Immunology, Shanxi Medical University, Taiyuan 030001, China.
State Key Laboratory of Silkworm Genome Biology, Southwest University, Chongqing 400715, China.


Circular (circ)RNAs, a newly recognized class of noncoding RNA, have been implicated in the occurrence and development of several diseases, including neurological and cardiovascular diseases. Studies of human tumors, including those of liver cancer, gastric cancer, lung cancer and colorectal cancer, have shown differential expression profiles of circRNAs, suggesting regulatory roles in cancer pathogenesis and metastasis. In this review, we discuss the most recent research into tumor-related circRNAs, providing a comprehensive summary of the expression or/and function of these circRNAs and proposing rational perspectives on the potential clinical application of circRNAs as helpful biomarkers or therapeutic targets in human tumors.


biomarker; cancer; circRNA; noncoding RNA; therapy

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Competing Interests: The authors have declared that no competing interest exists.

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