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Recent Pat Anticancer Drug Discov. 2018;13(3):292-301. doi: 10.2174/1574892813666180226121819.

The Application of lncRNAs in Cancer Treatment and Diagnosis.

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Key Laboratory of Biorheological Science and Technology, Ministry of Education, College of Bioengineering, Chongqing University, Chongqing 400044, China.



It is increasingly evident that lncRNAs have various biological functions playing as essential regulators, getting involved in diverse cellular processes. Many of the lncRNAs show aberrant expression in cancer, which is associated with different cancer types. The dysregulation of lncRNAs has been increasingly linked to cancer carcinogenesis and progression.


Due to their tissue-specific expression and key role in cancer, lncRNAs have the potential to be novel biomarkers or effective drug targets for cancer. This review aims to present the application of lncRNAs in cancer diagnosis and targeted cancer therapies, elaborates molecular mechanisms and provides a deeper understanding of cancer-related lncRNA functions.


Relevant recent patents are collected to summarize the application of lncRNAs in cancer. Combined with published articles, functions and mechanisms of lncRNAs are elaborated.


Patents revealed that a series of reagents and kits have been applied for early cancer diagnosis by detecting specific lncRNAs, having the advantages of high sensitivity, specificity and stability. In addition, lncRNAs as effective targets have been applied in developing targeted cancer drugs. With regard to their role in cancer, lncRNAs regulate target genes, thus to medicate cancer physiological and pathological processes through diverse mechanisms at epigenetic, transcriptional and posttranscriptional levels.


Current knowledge of lncRNAs presents prosperous prospects in cancer. However, functions of lncRNAs are still far from fully being understood. Therefore, further study is needed to advance imminent applications of these findings to the clinic.


Cancer diagnosis; cancer treatment; epigenetic; long non-coding RNAs; post-transcriptional; transcriptional.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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