miRNA profiling for diagnosis and prognosis of human cancer

DNA Cell Biol. 2007 May;26(5):293-300. doi: 10.1089/dna.2006.0554.


MicroRNAs (miRNAs) are a recently discovered class of small (approximately 18-24 nt) nucleic acids that negatively regulate gene expression. This novel class of molecules modulates a wide array of growth and differentiation processes in human cancers. High throughput analyses, utilizing the solid phase, array platform, or liquid phase, bead-based hybridization have variously demonstrated that miRNA expression was commonly dysregulated in human cancer. miRNA expression profiling has shown promise in defining malignant status in retrospective studies. Considerable disagreement remains with respect to the miRNA signature for a specific cancer cell type, which appears to depend largely on the analytical platform. Nonetheless, various internally controlled studies have successfully identified the histotype of tumors of unknown origin according to miRNA expression profile. The evaluation of miRNAs expression may also be of prognostic value, as best exemplified by the correlation of let-7 and mir-155 levels with disease survival in nonsmall cell lung cancer.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Biomarkers / analysis
  • Gene Expression Profiling
  • Humans
  • MicroRNAs / analysis
  • MicroRNAs / genetics*
  • Neoplasms / diagnosis*
  • Neoplasms / genetics*
  • Predictive Value of Tests
  • Prognosis


  • Biomarkers
  • MicroRNAs