Theranostics was coined originally as a term used to describe a system that combines diagnosis and therapy, aiming to provide the tools for personalized medicine. This review reasserts the grounds for regarding non-coding RNAs (ncRNA) as theranostics in human cancers. The microRNAs (miRNAs) are the most well studied ncRNAs in recent years; their pivotal role in orchestrating tumor initiation and progression has been confirmed in all types of cancers. Hence, these small ncRNAs have emerged as attractive therapeutic targets and diagnostic tool. Various approaches to use their therapeutic potential have been taken, here we summarize the most important ones. In the near future, the focus of theranostics will be shifted towards longer and mechanistically more versatile ncRNAs, and we included some recent advances supporting this view. J. Cell. Biochem. 113: 1451–1459, 2012. © 2011 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.
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