About this Research Topic
Tumor heterogeneity describes the distinct differences in morphological and phenotypic profiles of the same tumor type in different patients, and between cancer cells within a tumor. The main characteristics of tumor heterogeneity includes alteration of cell proliferation, metastasis capabilities, metabolism, gene expression, etc. This heterogeneity might result in a non-uniform distribution of genetically distinct tumor-cell subpopulations across and within disease sites (spatial heterogeneity) or temporal cell variations overtime (temporal heterogeneity). Cumulative changes in cell nature and early driver mutations of cancer would consequently lead to highly divergent evolution between tumors, and more importantly, profound reinforcement of resistance to cancer treatments, which demands for comprehensive understanding and accurate assessments of tumor heterogeneity for the developments of more effective therapies. Despite great advances in bioinformatics and novel techniques such as high-resolution cell imaging methods, high coverage sequencing and single-cell sequencing have greatly reinforced the potential to dissect the internal precise architecture of cancers, tumor heterogeneity caused by accumulating mutations and ensuing signaling cascades compromises the process of treatment.
Many molecular changes observed in cancer are a direct consequence of altered gene expression caused by changes in RNA regulation. Accumulating evidence shows that many RNAs are dysregulated and lead to various cancer processes, such as proliferation, metastasis, and drug resistance, implying that the roles of RNAs (especially noncoding RNAs) as potential targetable therapeutic molecules in cancer. To date, several miRNAs have applied to clinical trials, with a great many lncRNAs and circRNAs have emerged their great capabilities in prediction of clinical relevance. However, tumor heterogeneity hinders the universal (or partial) utilization of targetable RNAs in cancer treatments, and several critical questions remains to be addressed to explore the targetable RNAs and tumor heterogeneity in order to fully accelerate both sides of the fields.
The goal of this research topic is to provide a platform to gather the view of researchers from RNA to tumor heterogeneity, moreover, to uncover the intimate relationship between previously reported functional RNA or newly-found targetable RNAs and tumor heterogeneity. We hope this platform could shed light on both fields in the future mechanistically and clinically.
In this current Research Topic, we are looking forward to receiving original research articles, brief research reports, reviews/mini reviews, perspectives and opinions that could provide valuable discussion on targetable RNAs and tumor heterogeneity. These articles may include but are not limited to the following topics:
1. Variations of RNAs and tumor heterogeneity
2. RNA-metabolism associated with cancers
3. Novel techniques of assessment for tumor heterogeneity
4. RNA epigenetics in tumor heterogeneity
5. Potentially targetable RNAs in tumor heterogeneity
Keywords: RNA, tumor heterogeneity, epigenetics, Novel techniques
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