Background: Long noncoding RNAs (lncRNAs) are rapidly emerging as a novel class of transcripts associated with tumorigenesis and prognosis of oral tongue squamous cell carcinoma (OTSCC). The goal of this study was to perform a meta-analysis of the prognostic utility of tumorigenic lncRNAs as novel biomarkers of OTSCC and their associations with the clinicopathological features of OTSCC.
Methods: Online databases were searched for eligible studies. The hazard ratio (HR) with 95% CI was used to predict survival. The individual p-values for clinicopathological features were respectively combined using Fisher’s method.
Results: A total of 11 studies covering 1,138 OTSCC cases were included for quantitative data synthesis. Oncogenic lncRNA expression signature was closely related to shortened overall survival (OS) of patients with OTSCC (HR = 1.85, 95% CI: 1.45 - 2.37, p = 0.001; I2 = 64.9%; p = 0.002). Stratified analysis based on clinicopathological features showed that abnormally expressed lncRNAs were significantly associated with clinical stage (p = 0.000), node metastasis (p = 0.025), T stage (p = 0.000), and nodal stage (p = 0.000).
Conclusions: Collectively, oncogenic lncRNAs were implicated in the development and progression of OTSCC, and may serve as novel biomarkers for predicting the prognosis of OTSCC patients.