Background: The abnormally expressed long non-coding RNAs (lncRNAs) are closely related to the onset and progression of various malignant tumors. In this study, we aimed to explore the value of serum and serum-derived exosomal lncRNA-EXOC7 (long non-coding RNA exocyst complex component 7) in the diagnosis and monitoring of cervical cancer (CC).
Methods: The expression of lncRNA-EXOC7 in serum and serum-derived exosomes in CC patients was detected by quantitative real-time PCR (qRT-PCR), and the correlations between lncRNA-EXOC7 expression and clinicopathological characteristics were analyzed by Spearman’s and Chi-square tests.
Results: Serum vesicles were successfully isolated and identified. The expression of lncRNA-EXOC7 in serum and serum-derived exosomes in CC patients was markedly elevated compared with that in healthy controls. The AUCs of serum and exosomal lncRNA-EXOC7 in distinguishing CC patients from healthy controls were 0.9388 and 0.8982, respectively. The expression of lncRNA-EXOC7 in serum and exosomes was correlated with the FIGO stage of CC (p = 0.041 or 0.010), and positively correlated with levels of CYFRA211, TPS, and SCC (all with p < 0.05). Serum and exosomal lncRNA-EXOC7 was related to the treatment and recurrence of CC; that means, it was significantly repressed after treatment and up-regulated at the time of recurrence.
Conclusions: Serum and exosomal lncRNA-EXOC7 can be used as an important biomarker for the diagnosis, the evaluation of curative effect and the detection of recurrence of CC.