MicroRNAs (miRNAs) are key regulators of gene expression that regulate important oncogenes and tumor suppressors. Many miRNAs can also act as oncogenes or tumor suppressors, and thus the altered expression of miRNAs is a hallmark of many cancer types. Dysregulated miRNAs provide a potentially powerful new tool that could be used to enable the characterization of tumor environments and identify novel and important oncogenic pathways. More recently, there has been growing interest in the field of miRNAs as biomarkers of cancer risk, diagnosis and response to therapy. Understanding the associations between miRNA expression and cancer phenotypes, and the potential of miRNA profiling in clinical applications, promises to be highly rewarding in the field of cancer research.
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