Long Non-Coding RNAs As Potential Novel Prognostic Biomarkers in Colorectal Cancer.

Colorectal cancer (CRC) is the fourth most common cause of death worldwide. Surgery is usually the first line of treatment for patients with CRC but many tumors with similar histopathological features show significantly different clinical outcomes. The discovery of robust prognostic biomarkers in patients with CRC is imperative to achieve more effective treatment strategies and improve patient’s care. Recent progress in next generation sequencing methods and transcriptome analysis has revealed that a much larger part of the genome is transcribed into RNA than previously assumed. Collectively referred to as non-coding RNAs (ncRNAs), some of these RNA molecules such as microRNAs (miRNAs) and long non-coding RNAs (lncRNAs) have been shown to be altered and to play critical roles in tumor biology. This discovery leads to exciting possibilities for personalized cancer diagnosis, and therapy. Many lncRNAs are tissue and cancer-type specific and have already revealed to be useful as prognostic markers. In this review, we focus on recent findings concerning aberrant expression of lncRNAs in CRC tumors and emphasize their prognostic potential in CRC. Further studies focused on the mechanisms of action of lncRNAs will contribute to the development of novel biomarkers for diagnosis and disease progression.

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