MicroRNAs as a tool to aid stratification of colorectal cancer patients and to guide therapy

Pharmacogenomics. 2017 Jul;18(10):1027-1038. doi: 10.2217/pgs-2017-0004. Epub 2017 Jun 22.


Colorectal cancer is a common type of malignant disease with high rates of morbidity and mortality. Although treatment options have been expanded over the last years, the mainstay of curative treatment remains surgical removal of the tumor-bearing organ. Systemic treatment options include classic cytotoxic drugs as well as some biological agents. Noncoding RNAs are an evolving field in cancer diagnosis, prognosis and possible treatment. Noncoding miRNAs are small molecules with huge impact on gene expression. They have been a substantial part of cancer research for more than a decade. In this review article, the current knowledge of miRNAs and colorectal cancer diagnosis, prognosis and novel or evolving therapeutic concepts are discussed. Examples of how miRNAs might change the management of the disease will be described.

Keywords: colorectal cancer; diagnosis; microRNAs; treatment.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Antineoplastic Agents / administration & dosage
  • Antineoplastic Agents / therapeutic use*
  • Biomarkers, Tumor / genetics*
  • Colorectal Neoplasms / drug therapy*
  • Colorectal Neoplasms / genetics
  • Gene Expression Regulation, Neoplastic
  • Humans
  • MicroRNAs / genetics*
  • Molecular Targeted Therapy
  • Prognosis


  • Antineoplastic Agents
  • Biomarkers, Tumor
  • MicroRNAs