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Medicine (Baltimore). 2019 Mar;98(9):e14569. doi: 10.1097/MD.0000000000014569.

Prognostic miRNA classifiers in t cell acute lymphoblastic leukemia: Study protocol for a systematic review and meta-analysis of observational clinical studies.

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School of Biosciences and Technology, Vellore Institute of Technology (VIT), Vellore, India.
University of Adelaide, North Terrace Campus, Adelaide, Australia.
Department of Biochemistry, Bharathiar University, Coimbatore, Tamil Nadu, India.
College of Health and Human Sciences, Charles Darwin University, Casuarina, Northern Territory, Australia.



The prognostic value of microRNA (miRNA) expression in T-cell acute lymphoblastic leukemia (T-ALL) has generated significant research interest in recent years. However, most diagnostic and prognostic studies with regards to miRNA expression have been focused on combined B cell and T cell lymphoblastic leukemia. There are very few studies reporting the prognostic effects of miRNA expression on T-ALL. Therefore, a pioneer systematic review and meta-analysis was proposed to explore the possibilities of miRNAs as viable prognostic markers in T-ALL. This study is intended to be useful as a guideline for future research into drug evaluation and targeting miRNA as a biomarker for the treatment and prognosis of T-ALL.


The systematic review will be reported according to the Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis (PRISMA) guidelines. The study search will be conducted by using Cochrane, EMBASE, Medline, Science Direct, and SCOPUS bibliographic databases. The reference lists of included studies will be manually searched to further bolster the search results. A combination of keywords will be used to search the databases.


To explore the effect of miRNA on prognosis, forest plots will be generated to assess pooled HR and 95% CI. Upregulation, downregulation, and deregulation of specific miRNAs will be individually noted and used to extrapolate patient prognosis when associated with risk factors involved in T-ALL. Subgroup analysis will be carried out to analyze the effect of deregulation of miRNA expression on patient prognosis. A fixed or random-effects model of meta-analysis will be used depending upon between-study heterogeneity. This systematic review and meta-analysis will identify and synthesize evidence to determine the prognosis of miRNA in T-ALL and suggest the possible miRNA from meta-analysis results to predict as a biomarker for further detection and treatment of T-ALL.

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