Purpose of review: Bladder cancer is a common disease whose natural history can be unpredictable. As such, there is an urgent clinical need to identify biomarkers that will improve the care of patients by allowing a more individualized approach. Noncoding RNAs (ncRNAs) are a recently identified subgroup of RNAs whose mature species are not translated into proteins. Here, we review knowledge of ncRNA in bladder cancer, with a focus upon their role in high-risk nonmuscle invasive tumors.
Recent findings: There have been a number of articles reporting the ability of microRNAs to help evaluate patients with nonmuscle invasive bladder cancer. New long ncRNA species have been evaluated for the first time in bladder cancer. Competing endogenous RNAs and enhancer RNAs show interesting functional and regulatory effects in other cancers, but have yet to be evaluated in bladder cancer.
Summary: Novel RNA species are increasingly being used to help prognosticate patients with bladder cancer and to understand key oncological events in the evolution of this disease. Future work is needed to validate potential clinical utility of the RNA species described.