MicroRNA dysregulation in colorectal cancer: a clinical perspective

Br J Cancer. 2011 Mar 15;104(6):893-8. doi: 10.1038/bjc.2011.57. Epub 2011 Mar 1.


Recent researches have shed light on the biological importance of microRNAs (miRNAs) in colorectal cancer (CRC) genesis, progression and response to treatments. The potential utility of miRNAs in the preclinical stage have been explored and investigated. In this review, we explored the literature and reviewed the cutting edge progress in the discovery of noninvasive plasma and faecal miRNAs for CRC early diagnosis, as well as their measurability and predictability. We also discussed the utility of miRNAs as novel prognostic and predictive markers, and their association with CRC clinical phenotypes including recurrence, metastasis and therapeutic outcomes. Finally, we summarised miRNA-related single-nucleotide polymorphisms and their potential influence on sporadic CRC susceptibility and therapeutic response. In conclusion, the use of miRNAs as biomarker for CRC is still in its infancy and need further characterisation and evaluation.

Publication types

  • Evaluation Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Biomarkers, Tumor / genetics
  • Carcinoma / blood
  • Carcinoma / diagnosis*
  • Carcinoma / genetics*
  • Carcinoma / therapy
  • Colorectal Neoplasms / blood
  • Colorectal Neoplasms / diagnosis*
  • Colorectal Neoplasms / genetics*
  • Colorectal Neoplasms / therapy
  • Early Detection of Cancer / methods*
  • Feces / chemistry
  • Gene Expression Regulation, Neoplastic
  • Humans
  • MicroRNAs / analysis
  • MicroRNAs / blood
  • MicroRNAs / genetics*
  • Polymorphism, Genetic / physiology
  • Prognosis
  • Treatment Outcome


  • Biomarkers, Tumor
  • MicroRNAs