Bladder cancer is one of the most common cancers in the United States, but few advancements in treatment options have occurred in the past few decades. This study aims to identify the most clinically relevant long non-coding RNAs (lncRNAs) to serve as potential biomarkers and treatment targets for muscle invasive bladder cancer (MIBC). Using RNA-sequencing data from 406 patients in The Cancer Genome Atlas (TCGA) database, we identified differentially expressed lncRNAs in MIBC vs. normal tissues. We then associated lncRNA expression with patient survival, clinical variables, oncogenic signatures, cancer- and immune-associated pathways, and genomic alterations. We identified a panel of 20 key lncRNAs that were most implicated in MIBC prognosis after differential expression analysis and prognostic correlations. Almost all lncRNAs we identified are correlated significantly with oncogenic processes. In conclusion, we discovered previously undescribed lncRNAs strongly implicated in the MIBC disease course that may be leveraged for diagnostic and treatment purposes in the future. Functional analysis of these lncRNAs may also reveal distinct mechanisms of bladder cancer carcinogenesis.
Keywords: TCGA; bladder carcinoma; lncRNA-protein interaction; lncRNAs.