MicroRNAs Change the Landscape of Cancer Resistance

  • Jun ZhuEmail author
  • Wei Zhu
  • Wei Wu
Part of the Methods in Molecular Biology book series (MIMB, volume 1699)


One of the major challenges in the cancer treatment is the development of drug resistance. It represents a major obstacle to curing cancer with constrained efficacy of both conventional chemotherapy and targeted therapies, even recent immune checkpoint blockade therapy. Deciphering the mechanisms of resistance is critical to further understanding the multifactorial pathways involved, and developing more specific targeted treatments. To date, numerous studies have reported the potential role of microRNAs (miRNAs) in the resistance to various cancer treatments. MicroRNAs are a family of small noncoding RNAs that regulate gene expression by sequence-specific targeting of mRNAs causing translational repression or mRNA degradation. More than 1200 validated human miRNAs have been identified in human genome. While one miRNA can regulate hundreds of targets, a single target can also be affected by multiple miRNAs. Evidence suggests that dysregulation of specific miRNAs may be involved in the acquisition of resistance, thereby modulating the sensitivity of cancer cells to treatment. Therefore, manipulation of miRNAs may be an attractive strategy for more effective individualized therapies through reprograming resistant network in cancer cells.

Key words

Cancer resistance MicroRNAs Drug persistent cells Residual disease Epigenome 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media LLC 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Jiangsu Cancer HospitalNanjingChina
  2. 2.Department of OncologyFirst Affiliated Hospital of Nanjing Medical UniversityNanjingPR China
  3. 3.Department of Medicine, Helen Diller Family Comprehensive Cancer CenterUniversity of California in San FranciscoSan FranciscoUSA

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