Non-coding RNAs in Prostate Cancer: the Long and the Short of it

As the leading culprit in cancer incidence for American men, prostate cancer continues to pose significant diagnostic, prognostic and therapeutic tribulations for clinicians. The vast spectrum of disease behavior warrants better molecular classification to facilitate the development of more robust biomarkers that can identify the more aggressive and clinically significant tumor subtypes that require treatment. The untranslated portion of the human transcriptome, namely non-coding RNAs (ncRNAs), is emerging as a key player in cancer initiation and progression and boasts many attractive features for both biomarker and therapeutic research. Genetic linkage studies show that many ncRNAs are located in cancer-associated genomic regions that are frequently deleted or amplified in prostate cancer, whilst aberrant ncRNA expression patterns have well-established links with prostate tumor cell proliferation and survival. The dysregulation of pathways controlled by ncRNAs results in a cascade of multi-cellular events leading to carcinogenesis and tumor progression. The characterization of RNA species, their functions and their clinical applicability is a major area of biological and clinical importance.


This review summarizes the growing body of evidence supporting a pivotal role for ncRNAs in the pathogenesis of prostate cancer. The authors highlight the most promising ncRNA biomarkers for detection and risk-stratification and present the state-of-play for RNA-based personalized medicine in treating the “untreatable” prostate tumors.

  • Bolton EM, Tuzova AV, Walsh AL, Lynch T, Perry AS. (2013) Non-coding RNAs in Prostate Cancer: the Long and the Short of it. Clin Cancer Res [Epub ahead of print]. [abstract]

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