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MicroRNAs in Brain Metastases: Potential Role as Diagnostics and Therapeutics
Published: 11 June 2014 by MDPI in International Journal of Molecular Sciences
MDPI, Volume 15; 10.3390/ijms150610508
Abstract: Brain metastases remain a daunting adversary that negatively impact patient survival. Metastatic brain tumors affect up to 45% of all cancer patients with systemic cancer and account for ~20% of all cancer-related deaths. A complex network of non-coding RNA molecules, microRNAs (miRNAs), regulate tumor metastasis. The brain micro-environment modulates metastatic tumor growth; however, defining the precise genetic events that promote metastasis in the brain niche represents an important, unresolved problem. Understanding these events will reveal disease-based targets and offer effective strategies to treat brain metastases. Effective therapeutic strategies based upon the biology of brain metastases represent an urgent, unmet need with immediate potential for clinical impact. Studies have demonstrated the ability of miRNAs to distinguish normal from cancerous cells, primary from secondary brain tumors, and correctly categorize metastatic brain tumor tissue of origin based solely on miRNA profiles. Interestingly, manipulation of miRNAs has proven effective in cancer treatment. With the promise of reduced toxicity, increased efficacy and individually directed personalized anti-cancer therapy, using miRNA in the treatment of metastatic brain tumors may prove very useful and improve patient outcome. In this review, we focus on the potential of miRNAs as diagnostic and therapeutic targets for the treatment of metastatic brain lesions.
Keywords: MicroRNAs, Network of Non Coding, miRNAs, brain metastases, Metastatic Brain, brain tumors, cancer, Metastasis in the Brain