Long non-coding RNAs in genitourinary malignancies: a whole new world.


Department of Hematology and Medical Oncology, Strasbourg University Hospital, Strasbourg, France. [Email]


Long non-coding RNAs (lncRNAs) are regulators of cellular machinery that are commonly dysregulated in genitourinary malignancies. Accordingly, the investigation of lncRNAs is improving our understanding of genitourinary cancers, from development to progression and dissemination. lncRNAs are involved in major oncogenic events in genitourinary malignancies, including androgen receptor (AR) signalling in prostate cancer, hypoxia-inducible factor (HIF) pathway activation in renal cell carcinoma and invasiveness in bladder cancer, as well as multiple other proliferation and survival mechanisms. In line with their putative oncogenic roles, new lncRNA-based classifications are emerging as potent predictors of prognosis. In clinical practice, detection of oncogenic lncRNAs in serum or urine might enable early cancer detection, and lncRNAs might also be promising therapeutic targets for patients with genitourinary cancer. Furthermore, as predictors of sensitivity to anticancer treatments, lncRNAs could be integrated into future precision medicine strategies. Overall, lncRNAs are promising new candidates for molecular studies and for discovery of innovative biomarkers and are putative therapeutic targets in genitourinary oncology.