Theranostics 2021; 11(6):2755-2769. doi:10.7150/thno.56174


Circular RNA in pancreatic cancer: a novel avenue for the roles of diagnosis and treatment

Zeyin Rong1,2,3,4#, Jin Xu1,2,3,4#, Si Shi1,2,3,4#, Zhen Tan1,2,3,4, Qingcai Meng1,2,3,4, Jie Hua1,2,3,4, Jiang Liu1,2,3,4, Bo Zhang1,2,3,4, Wei Wang1,2,3,4, Xianjun Yu1,2,3,4✉, Chen Liang1,2,3,4✉

1. Department of Pancreatic Surgery, Fudan University Shanghai Cancer Center, Shanghai, 200032, China.
2. Department of Oncology, Shanghai Medical College, Fudan University, Shanghai, 200032, China.
3. Pancreatic Cancer Institute, Fudan University, Shanghai, 200032, China.
4. Shanghai Pancreatic Cancer Institute, Shanghai, 200032, China.
#These authors contributed equally to this work.

This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License ( See for full terms and conditions.
Rong Z, Xu J, Shi S, Tan Z, Meng Q, Hua J, Liu J, Zhang B, Wang W, Yu X, Liang C. Circular RNA in pancreatic cancer: a novel avenue for the roles of diagnosis and treatment. Theranostics 2021; 11(6):2755-2769. doi:10.7150/thno.56174. Available from

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Pancreatic cancer (PC), an important cause of cancer-related deaths worldwide, is one of the most malignant cancers characterized by a dismal prognosis. Circular RNAs (circRNAs), a class of endogenous ncRNAs with unique covalently closed loops, have attracted great attention in regard to various diseases, especially cancers. Compelling studies have suggested that circRNAs are aberrantly expressed in different cancer tissues and cell types, including PC. More specifically, circRNAs can modify the proliferation, progression, tumorigenesis and chemosensitivity of PC, and some circRNAs could serve as biomarkers for diagnosis and prognosis. Herein, we summarize what is currently known to be related to the biogenesis, functions and potential roles of human circRNAs in PC and their application prospects for PC clinical treatments.

Keywords: Circular RNA, pancreatic cancer, sponge function, biomarker, treatment