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Micro-RNAs as Potential Predictors of Response to Breast Cancer Systemic Therapy: Future Clinical Implications


Micro-RNAs as Potential Predictors of Response to Breast Cancer Systemic Therapy: Future Clinical Implications

Alma D Campos-Parra et al. Int J Mol Sci.


Despite advances in diagnosis and new treatments such as targeted therapies, breast cancer (BC) is still the most prevalent tumor in women worldwide and the leading cause of death. The principal obstacle for successful BC treatment is the acquired or de novo resistance of the tumors to the systemic therapy (chemotherapy, endocrine, and targeted therapies) that patients receive. In the era of personalized treatment, several studies have focused on the search for biomarkers capable of predicting the response to this therapy; microRNAs (miRNAs) stand out among these markers due to their broad spectrum or potential clinical applications. miRNAs are conserved small non-coding RNAs that act as negative regulators of gene expression playing an important role in several cellular processes, such as cell proliferation, autophagy, genomic stability, and apoptosis. We reviewed recent data that describe the role of miRNAs as potential predictors of response to systemic treatments in BC. Furthermore, upon analyzing the collected published information, we noticed that the overexpression of miR-155, miR-222, miR-125b, and miR-21 predicts the resistance to the most common systemic treatments; nonetheless, the function of these particular miRNAs must be carefully studied and further analyses are still necessary to increase knowledge about their role and future potential clinical uses in BC.

Keywords: breast cancer; miRNAs; response to systemic therapy.

Conflict of interest statement

The authors declare no conflict of interest.


Figure 1
Figure 1
Key miRNAs in the resistance to BC treatment. Upregulation of four key miRNAs—miR-155, miR-222, miR-125b, and miR-21—is associated with the resistance to systemic therapy: Taxanes, Endocrine therapies, Targeted therapies, and Other agents. When dysregulated, these miRNAs disrupt genes or pathways (denoted by gray or yellow ovals, respectively) that lead to the molecular mechanisms associated with four of the hallmarks of cancer. Up-arrows denote up-regulated miRNA whereas T-Bar denote stop signaling pathway.

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