Patients with multiple myeloma (MM) had higher levels of long non-coding RNA antisense non-coding RNA from the INK4 locus (lncRNA ANRIL) than controls, which was also associated with shorter progression-free survival (PFS), according to the results of a study published in Hematology.

Data from previous studies suggest that lncRNA ANRIL promotes cell proliferation, migration, and invasion through modulation of microRNAs. “It was hypothesized that lncRNA ANRIL might be clinically implicated in MM via interacting with miR-34a, miR-125a and miR-186,” the authors stated.

The study evaluated data from 87 patients with MM and 30 controls without MM. Bone marrow–derived plasma cells were used to determine the levels of lncRNA ANRIL and miR-34a, miR-125a, and miR-186.

Patients with MM had higher levels of lnc ANRIL compared with controls (P <.001). Higher lnc ANRIL levels were also associated with increased levels of beta-2 microglobulin (P =.042) and more advanced-stage disease (P =.046) among patients with MM.

The levels of miR-34a (P <.001), miR-125a (P <.001), and miR-186 (P =.010) were lower among patients with MM compared with controls.

Among patients with MM, higher levels of lncRNA ANRIL were associated with a lower likelihood of achieving a complete response (CR) with treatment (P =.036) and shorter PFS (P =.031), but not objective response rate (ORR; P =.064) or overall survival (OS; P =.076).

In contrast, higher levels of the microRNAs were associated with improved outcomes. Higher ORR and CR were associated with higher levels of miR-34a (P =.003 and P =.048, respectively) and miR-125a (P =.047 and P =.013, respectively). Prolonged OS was also significantly associated with higher levels of miR-34a (P =.044) and miR-125a (P =.010). A higher level of miR-125a was associated with prolonged PFS (P =.011).

The authors concluded that “lncRNA ANRIL and its target miRNAs…reflect risk stratification [and/or] prognosis in patients with MM, which might assist with the disease management and the prognosis improvement in these patients.”


Yin Y, Yang W, Zhang L, Liu K, Luo Z. Long non-coding RNA ANRIL and its target microRNAs (microRNA-34a, microRNA-125a and microRNA-186) relate to risk stratification and prognosis in multiple myeloma. Hematology. 2021;26(1):160-169. doi:10.1080/16078454.2021.187275