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Current researches have revealed that delta-like protein 3 (DLL3) may be related with prognosis in patients with small cell lung cancer (SCLC). However, this finding remains controversial in small cell lung cancer. This meta-analysis was systematically performed to evaluate the prognostic value of DLL3 in SCLC. The PubMed, EMBASE and Web of Science databases were retrieved to collect the eligible references. Through Stata 15.0 software, we pooled hazard ratios (HR) with 95% confidence intervals (CI) by using random or fixed-effects models to evaluate the association between DLL3 and SCLC survival results. A total of 6 inter-related studies including 645 patients were qualified. After we removed 1 study, the remaining 5 studies including 601 patients were pooled to testify that high expression of DLL3 was an inferior prognostic for patients with SCLC in Asian populations (HR = 1.37, 95% CI = 1.05, 1.69; I2 = 0.0%, p = 0.000). The pooled results showed that DLL3 might be higher expression in advanced metastasis SCLC in Asian populations (RR = 0.84, 95% CI = 0.71, 0.99; I2 = 44.7%, p = 0.039). But the expression of DLL3 was not correlated with sex (RR = 1.33, 95% CI = 0.98, 1.80; I2 = 0.0%, p = 0.064), smoking history (RR = 1.01, 95% CI = 0.58, 1.75; I2 = 72.1%, p = 0.967) and tumour stage (RR = 0.68, 95% CI = 0.44, 1.05; I2 = 66.6%, p = 0.081). Our meta-analysis confirms that in Asian populations, high expression of DLL3 was a potential poor prognostic biomarker for SCLC and DLL3 highly expressed in advanced stage SCLC in Asian populations.


Benchao Chen, Heng Li, Chao Liu, Shuting Wang, Feiyue Zhang, Li Zhang, Mingjie Li, Gaofeng Li. Potential prognostic value of delta-like protein 3 in small cell lung cancer: a meta-analysis. World journal of surgical oncology. 2020 Aug 26;18(1):226

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PMID: 32847588

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