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Long non-coding and circular RNAs in the landscape of cancer progression and metastasis

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Guest Editors: George A. Calin1Silvia Di Agostino2Sara Donzelli3

1- MD Anderson Cancer Center, Houston, Texas, USA
2- Magna Græcia University, Catanzaro, Italy
3- Regina Elena National Cancer Institute, Rome, Italy

Submission window: January 1st 2022 – December 31st 2022. Submit your research here.

In the last twenty years, thanks to the enormous development of technology and sequencing techniques, many advances have been made in the treatment of cancer, mainly aimed at precision therapies. However, many types of tumors are incurable when diagnosed late, are resistant to the usual therapies and are still lacking in precision therapies. Primary tumors that manage to be cured are often destined for future recurrence and metastasis. In light of these considerations, new biomarkers are still needed for diagnosis, tumor characterization and new targets for cancer treatments. Among the most promising biomarkers and potential targets against cancer, non-coding RNA (ncRNA) are the most likely to have rapid translational application. Their characteristics of high stability and secretion in human fluids make them robust biomarkers.

MicroRNAs (miRNAs) are undoubtedly the most studied of ncRNAs and indeed there are already active clinical trials of miRNAs as therapeutic targets. However, long non-coding RNAs (lncRNAs) and circular RNAs (circRNAs) are likewise promising; thus, are molecules to be investigated and validated as biomarkers.

Keywords: LncRNAs, CircRNAs, Biomarkers, Tumorigenesis, Metastasis, Invasion, Epithelial-to-mesenchymal transition (EMT), Drug resistance, Therapy, Therapeutic target, Liquid biopsy.

In this Special Issue of Journal of Experimental & Clinical Cancer Research, we would like to give space to studies that highlight lncRNAs and circRNAs as possible markers of prognosis, diagnosis, drug resistance and metastasis processes in solid and hematopoietic tumors, including studies that develop new molecular, statistical and computational tools for their identification, without forgetting their functional characterization in the various aspects of oncological activities.

Note: As a pre-acceptance check, the journal reserves the right to ask the authors to provide the editors with any raw data and ethics approval documents.


  1. The biological function of lncRNA ELF3-AS1 remains largely unknown in cancers. The cause of SNAI2 overexpression in tumor metastasis remains largely unclear. The molecular mechanisms underlying the high co-exp...

    Authors: Dandan Li, Li Shen, Xudong Zhang, Zhen Chen, Pan Huang, Congcong Huang and Shanshan Qin
    Citation: Journal of Experimental & Clinical Cancer Research 2022 41:332
  2. Although success was achieved in the therapy for a minority of advanced lung adenocarcinoma (LUAD) patients, anti-programmed death 1 (PD1) resistance was found in most LUAD patients. Here, we aimed to uncover ...

    Authors: Jian Gao, Yong-Qiang Ao, Ling-Xian Zhang, Jie Deng, Shuai Wang, Hai-Kun Wang, Jia-Hao Jiang and Jian-Yong Ding
    Citation: Journal of Experimental & Clinical Cancer Research 2022 41:295
  3. Epithelial-mesenchymal transition (EMT) is a fundamental process for embryonic development during which epithelial cells acquire mesenchymal characteristics, and the underlying mechanisms confer malignant feat...

    Authors: Hashem Khanbabaei, Saeedeh Ebrahimi, Juan Luis García-Rodríguez, Zahra Ghasemi, Hossein Pourghadamyari, Milad Mohammadi and Lasse Sommer Kristensen
    Citation: Journal of Experimental & Clinical Cancer Research 2022 41:278
  4. Long noncoding RNAs (lncRNAs) are emerging as critical regulators of gene expression and play fundamental roles in various types of cancer. Current developments in transcriptome analyses unveiled the existence...

    Authors: Jiwei Zhang, Tao Pan, Weiwei Zhou, Ya Zhang, Gang Xu, Qi Xu, Si Li, Yueying Gao, Zhengtao Wang, Juan Xu and Yongsheng Li
    Citation: Journal of Experimental & Clinical Cancer Research 2022 41:270
  5. Metastasis is the main cause of mortality in cervical cancer (CC). Circular RNAs (circRNAs) have been demonstrated to play a crucial role in carcinoma biology. However, the expression and function of circRNAs ...

    Authors: Leilei Liang, Yunshu Zhu, Jian Li, Jia Zeng and Lingying Wu
    Citation: Journal of Experimental & Clinical Cancer Research 2022 41:261
  6. Distant metastasis is the major cause of clear cell renal cell carcinoma (ccRCC)-associated mortality. However, molecular mechanisms involved in ccRCC metastasis remain to be fully understood. With the increas...

    Authors: Yanliang Wang, Yu Chen Feng, Yujin Gan, Liu Teng, Li Wang, Ting La, Peilin Wang, Yue Gu, Lei Yan, Na Li, Lina Zhang, Limeng Wang, Rick F. Thorne, Xu Dong Zhang, Huixia Cao and Feng-Min Shao
    Citation: Journal of Experimental & Clinical Cancer Research 2022 41:260
  7. The accumulating evidence confirms that long non-coding RNAs (lncRNAs) play a critical regulatory role in the progression of renal cell carcinoma (RCC). But, the application of lncRNAs in gene therapy remains ...

    Authors: Weipu Mao, Keyi Wang, Wentao Zhang, Shuqiu Chen, Jinbo Xie, Zongtai Zheng, Xue Li, Ning Zhang, Yuanyuan Zhang, Haimin Zhang, Bo Peng, Xudong Yao, Jianping Che, Junhua Zheng, Ming Chen and Wei Li
    Citation: Journal of Experimental & Clinical Cancer Research 2022 41:252
  8. Abnormal glycosylation in a variety of cancer types is involved in tumor progression and chemoresistance. Glycosyltransferase C1GALT1, the key enzyme in conversion of Tn antigen to T antigen, is involved in bo...

    Authors: Zengqi Tan, Yazhuo Jiang, Liang Liang, Jinpeng Wu, Lin Cao, Xiaoman Zhou, Zhihui Song, Zhenyu Ye, Ziyan Zhao, Hui Feng, Zewen Dong, Shuai Lin, Zhangjian Zhou, Yili Wang, Xiang Li and Feng Guan
    Citation: Journal of Experimental & Clinical Cancer Research 2022 41:228
  9. One of the most malignant tumors in men is prostate cancer that is still incurable due to its heterogenous and progressive natures. Genetic and epigenetic changes play significant roles in its development. The...

    Authors: Sepideh Mirzaei, Mahshid Deldar Abad Paskeh, Elena Okina, Mohammad Hossein Gholami, Kiavash Hushmandi, Mehrdad Hashemi, Azuma Kalu, Ali Zarrabi, Noushin Nabavi, Navid Rabiee, Esmaeel Sharifi, Hassan Karimi-Maleh, Milad Ashrafizadeh, Alan Prem Kumar and Yuzhuo Wang
    Citation: Journal of Experimental & Clinical Cancer Research 2022 41:214
  10. Acquisition of the chemoresistance to docetaxel (DTX), a microtubule-targeting agent, has been a huge obstacle in treatment for metastatic castration-resistant prostate cancer (mCRPC). Recently, strategies tar...

    Authors: Liang Chen, Yarong Song, Teng Hou, Xuexiang Li, Lulin Cheng, Yunxue Li and Yifei Xing
    Citation: Journal of Experimental & Clinical Cancer Research 2022 41:194
  11. Chemoresistance of pancreatic cancer is the main reason for the poor treatment effect of pancreatic cancer patients. Exploring chemotherapy resistance-related genes has been a difficult and hot topic of oncolo...

    Authors: Zhi-Wen Chen, Jian-Fei Hu, Zu-Wei Wang, Cheng-Yu Liao, Feng-Ping Kang, Cai-Feng Lin, Yi Huang, Long Huang, Yi-Feng Tian and Shi Chen
    Citation: Journal of Experimental & Clinical Cancer Research 2022 41:153