MicroRNAs as a potential magic bullet in cancer

Future Oncol. 2006 Feb;2(1):73-82. doi: 10.2217/14796694.2.1.73.


Genes that control cell differentiation and development are frequently mutated in human cancer. Micro (mi)RNAs are small regulatory RNAs that are emerging as important regulators of cell division/differentiation and human cancer genes. In this review, the miRNA cancer connection is discussed and the possibility of using this novel, but potentially powerful new therapy, involving miRNAs, to treat cancers is speculated on. For example, lung cancer is the major cause of cancer deaths in the USA, but existing therapies fail to treat this disease in the overwhelming majority of cases. The let-7 miRNA is one of a number of 'oncomirs', natural miRNA tumor suppressors in lung tissue, which may prove useful in treating lung cancer or enhancing current treatments for lung cancer.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Gene Expression Regulation
  • Humans
  • Lung Neoplasms / therapy
  • MicroRNAs / genetics
  • MicroRNAs / pharmacology
  • MicroRNAs / therapeutic use*
  • Mutation
  • Neoplasms / therapy*
  • Oncogenes / drug effects


  • MicroRNAs
  • mirnlet7 microRNA, human