Project description

Long non-coding RNAs as biomarkers and novel drivers of human bladder cancer

This project is funded by The Danish Council for Independent Research, Medical Sciences in 2014 by DKK 2.6 mill from 2014-2017.

Project overview:

LncRNAs control critical aspects of cancer cell behavior but their underlying molecular mechanisms are still incompletely understood. The preliminary status of lncRNAs as highly promising biomarkers also remains largely unexplored. In this project, we use next-generation sequencing data to discover and evaluate lncRNAs as biomarkers in bladder cancer. Moreover, we use molecular and cell biological techniques to identify lncRNAs that play a causative role in BC development and progression. We thus strive to expand the existing paradigm of this disease by emphasizing the importance of lncRNAs, and provide biomarkers that have the potential to improve personalized treatment decisions.

Aims:

The specific aims of the project are as follows:

1) Comprehensively identify and annotate BC-associated lncRNAs in clinical tissue specimens.

2) Evaluate lncRNAs as biomarkers that predict risk of progression to muscle-invasive disease (pT2 and higher) and that predict response to Bacillus Calmette–Guérin (BCG).

3) Delineate the molecular pathways associated with lncRNA expression alterations.

4) Characterize the functional roles of selected lncRNAs in BC cell lines and compare the associated molecular in vitro findings to clinical in vivo data.