Background: Colorectal cancer (CRC) is one of the most frequently diagnosed cancers worldwide. Based on clinical data, CRC could be cured by surgery with favorable outcomes if diagnosed at an early stage. The present study aimed to determine whether circ-FMN2, circ-LMNB1, and circ-ZNF609 may serve as potential biomarkers for CRC.
Methods: Expression levels of circ-FMN2, circ-LMNB1, and circ-ZNF609 were detected in serum samples from 88 CRC patients and 68 healthy volunteers by real-time quantitative PCR (RT-qPCR). The correlation between circRNA expressions and clinicopathological parameters was analyzed subsequently. The ROC curve analysis and survival curves were calculated and compared in order to explore the diagnostic and prognostic values of circ-RNAs in CRC.
Results: The results verified that circ-FMN2, circ-LMNB1, and circ-ZNF609 were significantly elevated in serum samples of CRC patients compared with healthy controls (p < 0.01). Increased circ-FMN2, circ-LMNB1, and circ-ZNF609 expressions were markedly positively correlated with histological grade (p < 0.0001, p = 0.0014, p = 0.0303), lymph nodes metastasis (p < 0.0001, p < 0.0001, p = 0.0093), and TNM stage (p = 0.0055, p = 0.0110, p < 0.000). Meanwhile, the ROC curve analysis verified the diagnostic accuracy of circ-FMN2, circ-LMNB1, and circ-ZNF609 with AUC of 0.9153 (95% CI = 0.8707 ~ 0.9599), 0.9627 (95% CI = 0.9351 ~ 0.9903), and 0.8711 (95% CI = 0.8151 ~ 0.9270), respectively. Furthermore, the CRC patients with high circ-FMN2, circ-LMNB1, and circ-ZNF609 had significantly worse outcomes than those with low expression (p = 0.0267, p = 0.0145, p = 0.0194). Conclusions: The present study elucidated that circ-FMN2, circ-LMNB1, and circ-ZNF609 may function as potential diagnostic and prognostic indicators for CRC detection.