An overview of the role of long non-coding RNAs in human choriocarcinoma

Riccardo Di Fiore, Sherif Suleiman, Ana Felix, Sharon A. O’toole, John J. O’leary, Mark P. Ward, James Beirne, Maja Sabol, Petar Ozretić, Angel Yordanov, Mariela Vasileva-Slaveva, Stoyan Kostov, Margarita Nikolova, Ian Said-Huntingford, Duncan Ayers, Bridget Ellul, Francesca Pentimalli, Antonio Giordano, Jean Calleja-Agius

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


Choriocarcinoma (CC), a subtype of trophoblastic disease, is a rare and highly aggressive neoplasm. There are two main CC subtypes: gestational and non-gestational, (so called when it develops as a component of a germ cell tumor or is related to a somatic mutation of a poorly differentiated carcinoma), 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, advancements in diagnosis and treatment are always needed to improve outcomes for patients with CC. Long non-coding (lnc) RNAs are non-coding transcripts that are longer than 200 nucleotides. LncRNAs can act as oncogenes or tumor suppressor genes. Deregulation of their expression has a key role in tumor development, angiogenesis, differentiation, migration, apoptosis, and proliferation. Furthermore, detection of cancer-associated lncRNAs in body fluids, such as blood, saliva, and urine of cancer patients, is emerging as a novel method for cancer diagnosis. Although there is evidence for the potential role of lncRNAs in a number of cancers of the female genital tract, their role in CC is poorly understood. This review summarizes the current knowledge of lncRNAs in gestational CC and how this may be applied to future therapeutic strategies in the treatment of this rare cancer.

Original languageEnglish
Article number6506
JournalInternational Journal of Molecular Sciences
Issue number12
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2 2021


  • Choriocarcinoma
  • LncRNA-based therapy
  • Long non-coding RNA
  • Oncogenes or tumor suppressor genes
  • Rare cancer

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Catalysis
  • Molecular Biology
  • Spectroscopy
  • Computer Science Applications
  • Physical and Theoretical Chemistry
  • Organic Chemistry
  • Inorganic Chemistry


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