Function and clinical significance of circRNAs in solid tumors

J Hematol Oncol. 2018 Jul 31;11(1):98. doi: 10.1186/s13045-018-0643-z.


Circular RNA (circRNA) is a new type of endogenous non-coding RNAs (ncRNAs). circRNA regulates gene expression in many biological processes, and it also participates in the initiation and development of various diseases, including tumors, which are the focus of present research. With the development of high-throughput sequencing technique, an increasing number of circRNAs closely related to tumors have been discovered. According to numerous studies, there is a significant difference in the expressions of circRNAs among a variety of tumor tissues and para-carcinoma normal tissues. Some specifically expressed circRNAs may potentially serve as new biomarkers for tumor diagnosis and prognosis. This systemic review briefly introduces the characteristics, biogenesis, and functions of circRNAs, as well as discusses their relationship with cancer in detail. In addition, this article also describes several research strategies for circRNAs.

Keywords: Biomarker; Solid tumors; circRNA; microRNA sponge.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Biomarkers / metabolism*
  • Humans
  • MicroRNAs / metabolism*
  • Neoplasms / genetics*
  • RNA / metabolism*
  • RNA, Circular


  • Biomarkers
  • MicroRNAs
  • RNA, Circular
  • RNA