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Biotecnología Aplicada

On-line version ISSN 1027-2852


MORO-SORIA, Alejandro. MicroRNAs as biomarkers and therapeutic targets in cancer. Biotecnol Apl [online]. 2014, vol.31, n.2, pp.87-92. ISSN 1027-2852.

Malignant tumors rank as the first cause of death mortality and potentially lost years of life in Cuba and many other countries where millions of people die each year because of cancer. Therefore, the diagnosis and treatment of cancer is a health issue worldwide. Malignant tumors are traditionally classified and treated according to clinical and pathological variables which are currently insufficient to reflect each patient’s molecular features. Consequently, there is a need to find new individual biomarkers and therapeutic targets that could complement current clinical-pathological variables and become a guide for diagnosis, prognosis and treatment. Advances in understanding the biology of cancer as well as the development of more powerful gene analysis tools create new clinical perspectives to find such biomarkers and targets. MicroRNAs (miRNAs) belong to a class of non-coding RNA with post-transcription regulation of gene expression. Their expression is aberrant in cancer where they could function either as oncogenes or tumor suppressors, being used as diagnostic, prognostic or predictive biomarkers and therapeutic targets. Since, research on miRNA is a key issue for oncologists and researchers, in this review we provide a description of their biogenesis, mechanism of action and recent findings, supporting their use in cancer, either as biomarkers or therapeutic targets.

Keywords : miRNA; biomarkers; cancer; therapeutic molecular targets; personalized oncology.

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