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      Micro-RNAs as clinical biomarkers and therapeutic targets in breast cancer: Quo vadis?

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          Abstract

          Breast cancer (BC) is the most frequent type of non skin cancer among women and a major leading cause of cancer-related deaths in Western countries. It is substantial to discover novel biomarkers with diagnostic, prognostic or predictive usefulness as well as therapeutic value for BC. Micro-RNAs (miRNAs) belong to a novel class of endogenous interfering RNAs that play a crucial role in post transcriptional gene silencing through mRNA targeting and, thus, are involved in many biological processes encompassing apoptosis, cell-cycle control, cell proliferation, DNA repair, immunity, metabolism, stress, aging, etc. MiRNAs exert their action mainly in a tumor suppressive or oncogenic manner. The specific aberrant expression patterns of miRNAs in BC that are detected with the use of high-throughput technologies reflect their key role in cancer initiation, progression, migration, invasion and metastasis. The detection of circulating extracellular miRNAs in plasma of BC patients may provide novel, non-invasive biomarkers in favor of BC diagnosis and prognosis and, at the same time, accumulating evidence has underscored the possible contribution of miRNAs as valuable biomarkers to predict response to chemotherapy or radiotherapy. Data from in vitro and in vivo studies on BC have revealed promising therapeutic approaches via miRNA delivery and miRNA inhibition. The purpose of this review is to explore the ontological role of miRNAs in BC etiopathogenesis as well as to highlight their potential, not only as non-invasive circulating biomarkers with diagnostic and prognostic significance, but also as treatment response predictors and therapeutic targets aiding BC management.

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          Author and article information

          Journal
          World J Clin Oncol
          World journal of clinical oncology
          Baishideng Publishing Group Inc.
          2218-4333
          2218-4333
          May 10 2014
          : 5
          : 2
          Affiliations
          [1 ] Gerasimos Socrates Christodoulatos, Maria Dalamaga, Department of Clinical Biochemistry, Medical School, University of Athens, "Attikon" General University Hospital, 12462 Athens, Greece.
          Article
          10.5306/wjco.v5.i2.71
          4014798
          24829853
          3017479a-e09a-4459-80fc-c7abc4e8a77e
          History

          Biomarker,Breast cancer,Cancer diagnosis,Micro-RNA,Oncogene,Therapy,Tumor suppressor

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