Examples of Inverse Comorbidity between Cancer and Neurodegenerative Diseases: A Possible Role for Noncoding RNA

Michele Salemi, Maria Paola Mogavero, Giuseppe Lanza, Laura M. Mongioì, Aldo E. Calogero, Raffaele Ferri

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


Cancer is one of the most common causes of death; in parallel, the incidence and prevalence of central nervous system diseases are equally high. Among neurodegenerative diseases, Alzheimer’s dementia is the most common, while Parkinson’s disease (PD) is the second most frequent neurode-generative disease. There is a significant amount of evidence on the complex biological connection between cancer and neurodegeneration. Noncoding RNAs (ncRNAs) are defined as transcribed nucleotides that perform a variety of regulatory functions. The mechanisms by which ncRNAs exert their functions are numerous and involve every aspect of cellular life. The same ncRNA can act in multiple ways, leading to different outcomes; in fact, a single ncRNA can participate in the pathogenesis of more than one disease—even if these seem very different, as cancer and neurode-generative disorders are. The ncRNA activates specific pathways leading to one or the other clinical phenotype, sometimes with obvious mechanisms of inverse comorbidity. We aimed to collect from the existing literature examples of inverse comorbidity in which ncRNAs seem to play a key role. We also investigated the example of mir-519a-3p, and one of its target genes Poly (ADP-ribose) polymerase 1, for the inverse comorbidity mechanism between some cancers and PD. We believe it is very important to study the inverse comorbidity relationship between cancer and neurodegenerative diseases because it will help us to better assess these two major areas of human disease.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1930
Issue number12
Publication statusPublished - Jun 1 2022


  • cancer
  • inverse comorbidity
  • neurodegenerative diseases
  • noncoding RNAs

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)


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