Review article on Human Choriocarcinoma

Long Non-Coding RNAs (lncRNAs) are detectable in body fluids, such as the blood, saliva, and urine, and are therefore emerging as a novel method for cancer diagnosis, but few studies have explored the link between lncRNAs and choriocarcinoma (CC), a rare but serious type of cancer affecting the female reproductive organs. Because CC is important to diagnose early, researchers have conducted a review of the current research on lncRNAs in gestational CC, and how such a link may be applied to future diagnostic tools and therapeutic strategies.

The paper by Di Fiore, R et al. ‘An Overview of the Role of Long Non-Coding RNAs in Human Choriocarcinoma’ appears in the International Journal of Molecular Sciences. Di Fiore has co-authored the review paper in collaboration with another 18 co-authors hailing from 6 different countries, as part of the GYNOCARE COST Action (CA18117). 

Increasing evidence indicates the pivotal role of lncRNAs, non-coding transcripts which are more than 200 nucleotides and can act as oncogenes or tumor suppressor genes, in a variety of cancers. 

CC is a subtype of trophoblastic disease, and is a very rare neoplasm with varied incidence worldwide. In Europe and North America, about 1 in 40,000 pregnant women and 1 in 40 patients with hydatidiform moles will develop CC. There are two main CC subtypes: gestational and non-gestational, each with very diverse biological activity. A therapeutic approach is highly effective in patients with early-stage CC. The advanced stage of the disease also has a good prognosis with around 95% of patients cured following chemotherapy. However, advances in diagnosis and treatment are always needed to improve outcomes for patients with CC.

This paper has received special mention by the Sbarro Health Research Organisation at the Temple University, Philadelphia, USA.