Following the publication of this paper, it was drawn to our attention by an interested reader that a row of tumour images featured in Fig. 5A of the above paper were strikingly similar to those featured in Fig. 7A of an article appearing in [Zhang X, Gao F, Zhou L, Wang H, Shi G and Tan X: UCA1 regulates the growth and metastasis of pancreatic cancer by sponging miR‑135a. Oncol Res 25: 1529‑1541, 2017]. Furthermore, similarities in the data were also identified comparing Fig. 4A in the above paper with Fig. 6A in the same paper published in by Zhang . Finally, immunohistochemistry data featured in Fig. 5G were strikingly similar to data featured in Fig. 7G in the following article [Li Y, Luo H, Xiao N, Duan J Wang Z and Wang S: Long noncoding RNA SChLAP1 accelerates the proliferation and metastasis of prostate cancer via targeting miR‑198 and promoting the MAPK1 pathway. Oncol Res 26: 131‑143, 2018]. The Editor asked the authors for an explanation to account for the appearance of strikingly similar data in their paper independently, although the authors never responded within a reasonable time to confirm that the paper should be retracted. The Editor has therefore made the executive decision to retract this paper. The Editor apologizes to the readership for any inconvenience caused. [the original article was published in International Journal of Oncology 50: 1801‑1809, 2017; DOI: 10.3892/ijo.2017.3941].