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Keywords:

  • biomarkers;
  • cancer;
  • diagnosis;
  • individualized therapy;
  • microRNA;
  • prediction;
  • prognosis

There is emerging evidence of the production in human tumors of abnormal levels of microRNAs (miRNAs), which have been assigned oncogenic and/or tumor-suppressor functions. While some miRNAs commonly exhibit altered amounts across tumors, more often, different tumor types produce unique patterns of miRNAs, related to their tissue of origin. The role of miRNAs in tumorigenesis underscores their value as mechanism-based therapeutic targets in cancer. Similarly, unique patterns of altered levels of miRNA production provide fingerprints that may serve as molecular biomarkers for tumor diagnosis, classification, prognosis of disease-specific outcomes and prediction of therapeutic responses.