Translational applications of microRNAs in cancer, and therapeutic implications

Noncoding RNA Res. 2017 Dec 20;2(3-4):143-150. doi: 10.1016/j.ncrna.2017.12.002. eCollection 2017 Sep.


The search for targeted novel therapies for cancer is ongoing. MicroRNAs (miRNAs) display a number of characteristics making them an attractive and realisable option. In this review, we explore these applications, ranging from diagnostics, prognostics, disease surveillance, to being a primary therapy or a tool to sensitise patients to treatment modalities such as chemotherapy and radiotherapy. We take a particular perspective towards miRNAs and their impact on rare cancers. Advancement in the delivery of miRNAs, from viral vectors and liposomal delivery to nanoparticle based, has led to a number of pre-clinical and clinical applications for microRNA cancer therapeutics. This is promising, especially in the setting of rare cancers.

Keywords: Cancer; MicroRNAs; Rare cancers; Translational medicine.

Publication types

  • Review