, Volume 28, Issue 12, pp 2983-2995
Date: 19 Oct 2011

RNA Interference and Cancer Therapy

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Since its discovery in 1998, RNA interference (RNAi) has revolutionized basic and clinical research. Small RNAs, including small interfering RNA (siRNA), short hairpin RNA (shRNA) and microRNA (miRNA), mediate RNAi effects through either cleavage-dependent or cleavage-independent RNA inducible silencing complex (RISC) effector processes. As a result of its efficacy and potential, RNAi has been elevated to the status of “blockbuster therapeutic” alongside recombinant protein and monoclonal antibody. RNAi has already contributed to our understanding of neoplasia and has great promise for anti-cancer therapeutics, particularly so for personalized cancer therapy. Despite this potential, several hurdles have to be overcome for successful development of RNAi-based pharmaceuticals. This review will discuss the potential for, challenges to, and the current status of RNAi-based cancer therapeutics.