Plasma level of circular RNA hsa_circ_0000190 correlates with tumor progression and poor treatment response in advanced lung cancers

Yung Hung Luo, Yi Ping Yang, Chian Shiu Chien, Aliaksandr A. Yarmishyn, Afeez Adekunle Ishola, Yueh Chien, Yuh Min Chen, Tsai Wang Huang, Kang Yun Lee, Wen Chien Huang, Ping Hsing Tsai, Tzu Wei Lin, Shih Hwa Chiou, Chao Yu Liu, Cheng Chang Chang, Ming Teh Chen, Mong Lien Wang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

44 Citations (Scopus)


Lung cancer (LC) causes the majority of cancer-related deaths. Circular RNAs (circRNAs) were reported to play roles in cancers by targeting pro-and anti-oncogenic miRNAs. However, the mechanisms of circRNAs in LC progression and their prognostic value of treatment response remain unclear. By using next generation sequencing (NGS) of LC cell lines’ transcriptomes, we identified highly overexpressed hsa_circ_0000190 and hsa_circ_000164 as potential biomarkers. By using the highly sensitive RT-ddPCR method, these circRNAs were shown to be secreted by cell lines and were detected in human blood. Clinical validation by RT-ddPCR was carried out on 272 (231 LC patients and 41 controls) blood samples. Higher hsa_circ_0000190 levels were associated with larger tumor size (p <0.0001), worse histological type of adenocarcinoma (p = 0.0028), later stage (p < 0.0001), more distant metastatic organs (p = 0.0039), extrathoracic metastasis (p = 0.0004), and poor survival (p = 0.047) and prognosis. Using liquid biopsy-based RT-ddPCR, we discovered the correlation between increased hsa_circ_0000190 plasma level (p < 0.0001) and higher programmed death-ligand 1 (PD-L1) level in tumor (p = 0.0283). Notably, long-term follow-up of the immunotherapy treated cases showed that upregulated plasma hsa_circ_0000190 level correlated with poor response to systemic therapy and immunotherapy (p = 0.0002, 0.0058, respectively). Secretory circRNAs are detectable in blood by LB-based RT-ddPCR and may serve as blood-based biomarkers to monitor disease progression and treatment efficacy.

Original languageEnglish
Article number1740
Pages (from-to)1-20
Number of pages20
Issue number7
Publication statusPublished - 2020


  • Circular RNA
  • Droplet digital PCR
  • Liquid biopsy
  • Lung cancer
  • Programmed death-ligand 1

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Cancer Research


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