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Role of long non-coding RNAs in pancreatic cancer subtypes
Pancreatic cancer has a dismal prognosis due to late stage of diagnosis, frequent local and distant metastasis and high degree of resistance to therapies. This has not changed over the last centuries, unfortunately. Since less than 20% of pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma (PDAC) are resectable at time of diagnosis, it is essential to identify molecular mechanisms of tumorigenesis in order to understand possible pathways which are responsible for progression to invasive cancer. Importantly, integrative genomic analyses in PDAC identified different disease subtypes that have prognostic and biological relevance. Moreover, detailed bioinformatical analysis identified long non-coding RNAs (lncRNAs) to be associated with these subtypes suggesting a subtype specific expression and hypothetically also function of these lncRNAs in PDAC. Preliminary in silico analysis identified various lncRNAs differentially expressed in normal pancreas compared to PDAC tissue. Further in-depth integrative analysis correlated these differentially expressed lncRNAs with patient survival. Regulation and function of selected lncRNAs will be tested using various biochemical and cell-based in vitro and in vivo methods. This will lead to the identification of novel biomarkers for disease progression and will enable description of unique target molecules for pancreatic cancer treatment.


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