Current best practices and rationalistic perspectives in causation-based prevention, early detection and multidisciplinary treatment of breast and gastric cancer

Gastric & Breast Cancer e-journal
DOI: 10.2122/gbc.2011.0152


MicroRNAs: A new class of therapeutic targets in cancer

Ioannis Georgiou PhD and Dimitrios I. Fotiadis, PhD

Affiliation: (IG), from the Laboratory of Human Reproductive Genetics, Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology , Medical School, University of Ioannina, Ioannina, Greece and (DIF) Unit of Medical Technology and Intelligent Information Systems, Dept. of Computer Science, University of Ioannina, GR 451 10 Ioannina, Greece.


There is an urgent need for novel anticancer therapeutics given the slow and little improvements in cancer mortality rates reported by current USA cancer facts & statistics. High hope provides now a new class of drugs based on microRNAs (miRNAs). Latest high-throughput technology can measure deregulation of these small non-coding RNAs (ncRNAs) in many cancer types. In addition, latest advances in bioinformatics reveal a crucial role of miRNAs, along with transcription factors, and epigenetics in gene expression regulation. Silencing of tumor-suppressor genes expression and activation of oncogenes by mutations and epigenetic modifications drive tumorigenesis, growth and metastases. The ability of miRNAs to simultaneously regulate a numerous of genes makes them excellent candidates of cancer drugs by restoring perturbed molecular networks. In this review, we discuss the exciting perspectives of targeting miRNAs as anticancer drugs and the challenges to be overcome to achieve clinical success.

(Citation: Gastric & Breast Cancer 2011; 10(1): 53-58)

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last update: 8 February 2011