RNA Systems Biology for Cancer: From Diagnosis to Therapy
It is due to the advances in high-throughput omics data generation that RNA species have re-entered the focus of biomedical research. International collaborate efforts, like the ENCODE and GENCODE projects, have spawned thousands of previously unknown functional non-coding RNAs (ncRNAs) with various but primarily regulatory roles. Many of these are linked to the emergence and progression of human diseases. In particular, interdisciplinary studies integrating bioinformatics, systems biology, and biotechnological approaches have successfully characterized the role of ncRNAs in different human cancers. These efforts led to the identification of a new tool-kit for cancer diagnosis, monitoring, and treatment, which is now starting to enter and impact on clinical practice. This chapter is to elaborate on the state of the art in RNA systems biology, including a review and perspective on clinical applications toward an integrative RNA systems medicine approach. The focus is on the role of ncRNAs in cancer.