MicroRNA as potential modulators in chemoresistant high-grade gliomas

J Clin Neurosci. 2014 Mar;21(3):395-400. doi: 10.1016/j.jocn.2013.07.033. Epub 2013 Oct 6.


Gliomas account for 70% of human malignant primary brain tumours. The most common form is glioblastoma multiforme, World Health Organization grade IV. Despite the implementation of post-operative adjuvant radiotherapy with concurrent temozolomide (TMZ), the disease's overall prognosis remains dismal. TMZ is currently the only mono-chemotherapeutic agent for newly-diagnosed high-grade glioma patients and acquired resistance inevitably occurs in the majority of such patients, further limiting treatment options. Therefore, there is an urgent need to better understand the underlying mechanisms involved in TMZ resistance, a critical step to developing effective, targeted treatments. An emerging body of evidence suggests the intimate involvement of a novel class of nucleic acid, microRNA (miRNA), in tumorigenesis and disease progression for a number of human malignancies, including primary brain tumours. miRNA are short, single-stranded, non-coding RNA (∼22 nucleotides) that function as post-transcriptional regulators of gene expression. This review provides an overview of the key treatment obstacles faced in patients with high-grade gliomas, especially in the context of recurrent, chemoresistant tumours and the potential roles of miRNA in chemoresistance and management of this disease.

Keywords: Chemoresistance; Gliomas; MicroRNA; Temozolomide.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Antineoplastic Agents / therapeutic use
  • Brain Neoplasms / drug therapy
  • Brain Neoplasms / pathology*
  • Dacarbazine / analogs & derivatives
  • Dacarbazine / therapeutic use
  • Drug Resistance, Neoplasm / genetics*
  • Glioma / drug therapy
  • Glioma / pathology*
  • Humans
  • MicroRNAs / genetics*
  • Neoplasm Grading
  • Temozolomide


  • Antineoplastic Agents
  • MicroRNAs
  • Dacarbazine
  • Temozolomide