MicroRNA Expression Profiles in the Management of Papillary Thyroid Cancer

Oncologist. 2014 Nov;19(11):1141-7. doi: 10.1634/theoncologist.2014-0135. Epub 2014 Oct 16.


Papillary thyroid cancer (PTC) is the major contributor to the dramatically increasing incidence of thyroid cancer. Low-risk PTC shows the most rapid rate of increase because of changing trends in neck imaging and the use of fine needle aspiration to investigate thyroid nodules. The need for a paradigm shift in the management of these patients, to provide personalized treatment and surveillance plans, has led to the focus on molecular biomarker research. MicroRNAs (miRNAs) compose a class of molecules with promising applications for every stage of PTC management, including diagnosis, prognosis, treatment, and surveillance. Although most of the miRNA studies are currently preclinical, given the rapid progress of scientific discovery, clinical trials will not be far away. Thyroid clinicians will be expected to have good insights into the current status of PTC-related molecular translational research. This article focuses on the potential roles of miRNA in PTC management in the context of contemporary recommended clinical practice.

Keywords: Biological markers; Papillary carcinoma; Prognosis; Translational medical research; miRNAs.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Biomarkers, Tumor / genetics
  • Carcinoma / diagnosis
  • Carcinoma / genetics*
  • Carcinoma / pathology
  • Carcinoma / therapy
  • Carcinoma, Papillary
  • Gene Expression Profiling
  • Gene Expression Regulation, Neoplastic
  • Humans
  • MicroRNAs*
  • Prognosis
  • RNA, Messenger
  • Thyroid Cancer, Papillary
  • Thyroid Neoplasms / diagnosis
  • Thyroid Neoplasms / genetics*
  • Thyroid Neoplasms / pathology
  • Thyroid Neoplasms / therapy
  • Translational Medical Research


  • Biomarkers, Tumor
  • MicroRNAs
  • RNA, Messenger