Pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma (PDAC) is one of the most lethal malignancies, which is usually diagnosed at an advanced stage. The late disease diagnosis, the limited availability of effective therapeutic interventions and lack of robust diagnostic biomarkers, are some of the primary reasons for the dismal 5-year survival rates (∼8%) in patients with PDAC. The pancreatic cancer develops through accumulation of a series of genomic and epigenomic alterations which lead to the transformation of normal pancreatic epithelium into an invasive carcinoma – a process that can take up to 15-20 years to develop, from the occurrence of first initiating mutational event. These facts highlight a unique window of opportunity for the earlier detection of PDAC, which could allow timely disease interception and improvement in the overall survival outcomes in patients suffering from this fatal malignancy. Non-coding RNAs (ncRNAs) have been recognized to play a central role in PDAC pathogenesis and are emerging as attractive candidates for biomarker development in various cancers, including PDAC. More specifically, the ncRNAs play a pivotal role in PDAC biology as they affect tumor growth, migration, and invasion by regulating cellular processes including cell cycle, apoptosis, and epithelial-mesenchymal transition. In this review, we focus on three types of well-established ncRNAs – microRNAs (miRNAs), long non-coding RNAs (lncRNAs), and circular RNAs (circRNAs) – and discuss their potential as diagnostic, prognostic and predictive biomarkers in PDAC.
Copyright © 2020. Published by Elsevier Ltd.