Non-coding RNAs and cancer: An AACR Special Conference, Miami, FL, USA, January 8-11, 2012

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The American Association of Cancer Research (AACR) Conference on Non-Coding RNAs and Cancer was introduced by a keynote address from David Baltimore (California Institute of Technology), and included sessions on topics such as long non-coding RNAs (lncRNAs), biology and regulation in development of microRNA (miRNA), RNA in cancer and disease, and RNA therapeutics. Approximately 120 scientists from industry and academia attended the meeting. Non-coding RNAs are transcribed from a large percentage of the genome. Until recently, their existence and their potential to possess important functions have been unappreciated. However, miRNAs are now recognized as important regulatory agents, rivaling proteins in their importance for normal physiology and disease. The function and therapeutic impact of lncRNAs are less well known, but early investigations have implicated them in many important processes. The field of oligonucleotide therapeutics is also advancing, with steady progress being made with small interfering RNAs (siRNAs) and antisense oligonucleotides. The intersection of non-coding RNA biology and oligonucleotide therapy may provide opportunities for translating basic advances into promising therapeutic programs. Non-coding RNAs and cancer is an emerging area in which rapid progress is occurring. Although many questions remain unanswered, this meeting highlighted that non-coding RNAs have the potential to have a major impact on our understanding of basic biology and therapeutic development over the next decade.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)297-299
Number of pages3
JournalDrugs of the Future
Issue number4
StatePublished - 2012


  • Cancer
  • miRNA
  • Non-coding RNAs
  • Obesity
  • RNA therapeutics

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pharmacology
  • Pharmacology (medical)


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