© 2018 With the discovery that the level of RNA synthesis in human cells far exceeds what is required to express protein-coding genes, there has been a concerted scientific effort to identify, catalogue and uncover the biological functions of the non-coding transcriptome. Long, non-coding RNAs (lncRNAs) are a diverse group of RNAs with equally wide-ranging biological roles in the cell. An increasing number of studies have reported alterations in the expression of lncRNAs in various cancers, although unravelling how they contribute specifically to the disease is a bigger challenge. Originally described as a brain-specific, non-coding RNA, BC200 (BCYRN1) is a 200-nucleotide, predominantly cytoplasmic lncRNA that has been linked to neurodegenerative disease and several types of cancer. Here we summarise what is known about BC200, primarily from studies in neuronal systems, before turning to a review of recent work that aims to understand how this lncRNA contributes to cancer initiation, progression and metastasis, along with its possible clinical utility as a biomarker or therapeutic target.