MicroRNA in radiotherapy: miRage or miRador?

Br J Cancer. 2015 Mar 3;112(5):777-82. doi: 10.1038/bjc.2015.6. Epub 2015 Jan 22.


At least half of all cancer patients will receive radiation therapy. Tumour radioresistance, or the failure to control certain tumours with this treatment, can result in locoregional recurrence; thus there is great interest in understanding the underlying biology and developing strategies to overcome this problem. The expanding investigation of microRNA in cancer suggests that these regulatory factors can influence the DNA damage response, the microenvironment and survival pathways, among other processes, and thereby may affect tumour radioresistance. As microRNA are readily detectable in tumours and biofluids, they hold promise as predictive biomarkers for therapy response and prognosis. This review highlights the current insights on the major ways that microRNA may contribute to tumour radiation response and whether their levels reflect treatment success. We conclude by applying the potential framework of future roles of miR in personalised radiotherapy using prostate cancer clinical management as an example.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • DNA Damage
  • DNA Repair
  • Humans
  • MicroRNAs / genetics*
  • MicroRNAs / metabolism
  • Neoplasms / genetics*
  • Neoplasms / radiotherapy*
  • Precision Medicine
  • Radiation Tolerance*
  • Tumor Microenvironment


  • MicroRNAs