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Disease Markers
Volume 2016, Article ID 9085195, 10 pages
Review Article

Long Noncoding RNAs as Novel Biomarkers Have a Promising Future in Cancer Diagnostics

Faculty of Laboratory Medicine, Xiangya Medical College, Central South University, Changsha, Hunan 41001, China

Received 3 December 2015; Revised 14 March 2016; Accepted 16 March 2016

Academic Editor: Lance A. Liotta

Copyright © 2016 Ting Shi et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Cancers have a high mortality rate due to lack of suitable specific early diagnosis tumor biomarkers. Emerging evidence is accumulating that lncRNAs (long noncoding RNAs) are involved in tumorigenesis, tumor cells proliferation, invasion, migration, apoptosis, and angiogenesis. Furthermore, extracellular lncRNAs can circulate in body fluids; they can be detected and strongly resist RNases. Many researchers have found that lncRNAs could be good candidates for tumor biomarkers and possessed high specificity, high sensitivity, and noninvasive characteristics. In this review, we summarize the detection methods and possible sources of circulating lncRNAs and outline the biological functions and expression level of the most significant lncRNAs in tissues, cell lines, and body fluids (whole blood, plasma, urine, gastric juice, and saliva) of different kinds of tumors. We evaluate the diagnostic performance of lncRNAs as tumor biomarkers. However, the biological functions and the mechanisms of circulating lncRNAs secretion have not been fully understood. The uniform normalization protocol of sample collection, lncRNAs extraction, endogenous control selection, quality assessment, and quantitative data analysis has not been established. Therefore, we put forward some recommendations that might be investigated in the future if we want to adopt lncRNAs in clinical practice.