Clinical and Translational Oncology

, Volume 9, Issue 3, pp 155–160

microRNAs and cancer: role in tumorigenesis, patient classification and therapy


DOI: 10.1007/s12094-007-0029-0

Cite this article as:
Hernando, E. Clin Transl Oncol (2007) 9: 155. doi:10.1007/s12094-007-0029-0


MicroRNAs (miRNAs) are small non-coding RNAs that downregulate gene expression during various crucial cell processes such as apoptosis, differentiation and development. Recent work supports a role for miRNAs in the initiation and progression of human malignancies. Moreover, large high-throughput studies in patients revealed that miRNA profiling has the potential to classify tumours and predict patient outcome with high accuracy. Functional studies, some of which involve animal models, indicate that miRNAs act as tumour suppressors and oncogenes. This review examines the role of miRNAs in the pathogenesis of cancer as well as miRNA-profiling studies performed in human malignancies. Implications of these findings for the diagnosis and treatment of cancer patients are also discussed.

Key words

microRNAs RNAi Metastasis Epigenetic Transformation Cancer 

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Italia 2007

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Experimental Pathology Program. Department of PathologyNew York University School of MedicineNew YorkUSA
  2. 2.Experimental Pathology Program Department of PathologyNew York University School of MedicineNew York, NYUSA

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