Background: 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.
Objective: 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.
Methods: Relevant recent patents are collected to summarize the application of lncRNAs in cancer.
Combined with published articles, functions and mechanisms of lncRNAs are elaborated.
Results: 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
Conclusion: 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.