Research Paper Volume 14, Issue 4 pp 1797—1811

LncRNA HULC as a potential predictor of prognosis and clinicopathological features in patients with digestive system tumors: a meta-analysis

Duo Li1, , Rui Wang1, , Na Wu1, , Yongqiang Yu1, ,

  • 1 Department of Gastroenterology, The First Affiliated Hospital of Hebei North University, Zhangjiakou, Hebei, China

Received: June 11, 2021       Accepted: February 2, 2022       Published: February 18, 2022
How to Cite

Copyright: © 2022 Li et al. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY 3.0), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.


Objective: This meta-analysis aimed to evaluate the correlation between lncRNA HULC, prognosis and clinicopathological characteristics in patients with digestive system tumors.

Methods: The relevant literatures were collected through PubMed, Web of Science and Embase up to February 2021. Hazard ratios (HRs) and 95% confidence intervals (CIs) were calculated to assess the prognostic value of HULC in patients with digestive system tumors. The clinicopathological characteristics of HULC in patients were estimated by odds ratios (ORs).

Results: A total of 14 studies involving 1312 patients were included. The up-regulated expression level of HULC was associated with poorer overall survival (OS) in patients with digestive system tumors (HR = 1.83, 95% CI: 1.05-3.19, P = 0.033). Subgroup analysis showed that cancer type (pancreatic cancer or gastric cancer), residence region (China, Japan or Korea), and specimen (serum) significantly associated between HULC and OS. In addition, high HULC expression significantly increased the risk of high TNM stage (OR = 2.51, 95%CI: 1.36-4.62, P < 0.05), poor differentiation (OR = 1.38, 95%CI: 1.02-1.87, P < 0.05) and lymphatic node metastasis (LNM, OR = 4.93, 95% CI: 3.47-6.99, P < 0.05).

Conclusions: High expression level of HULC is related to OS, TNM stage, differentiation and LNM. Therefore, HULC can be used as a new potential predictor for prognosis and clinicopathological features of patients with digestive system tumors.


PC: pancreatic cancer; HCC: hepatocellular carcinoma; GC: gastric cancer; CRC: colorectal cancer; CC: colon cancer; CA: colon adenocarcinoma; OS: overall survival; DFS: disease-free survival; RFS: recurrence-free survival; HR: hazard ratio; CI: confidence interval; OR: odds ratio; TNM: tumor node metastasis; LNM: lymph node metastasis; DM: distant metastasis; WHO: World Health Organization; lncRNA: Long non-coding RNA; circRNA: circular RNA; miRNA: microRNA; HULC: Highly up-regulated in liver cancer; qRT-PCR: quantitative real-time polymerase chain reaction; CHOL: cholangiocarcinoma; COAD: colon adenocarcinoma; ESCA: esophageal carcinoma; LIHC: liver hepatocellular carcinoma; READ: rectum adenocarcinoma; MALAT1: metastasis-associated lung adenocarcinoma transcript 1; XIST: X-inactive specific transcript; NORAD: non-coding RNA activated by DNA damage; YB-1: Y-box binding protein 1; LDHA: lactate dehydrogenase A; PKM2: pyruvate kinase M2; FGFR1: fibroblast growth factor receptor type 1; EMT: epithelial-mesenchymal transition; P62: sequestosome 1; LC3II: microtubule-associated protein 1 light chain 3 alpha; VEGF: vascular endothelial growth factor; ESM-1: endothelial cell specific molecule 1; PI3K: phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase; Akt: protein kinase B; mTOR: mammalian target of rapamycin.