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MicroRNA dysregulation as a prognostic biomarker in colorectal cancer

Authors Dong Y, Yu J, Ng S

Received 26 June 2014

Accepted for publication 17 July 2014

Published 14 October 2014 Volume 2014:6 Pages 405—422

DOI https://doi.org/10.2147/CMAR.S35164

Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single-blind

Peer reviewer comments 4


Yujuan Dong,1,2 Jun Yu,2 Simon SM Ng1,2

1Division of Colorectal Surgery, Department of Surgery, Prince of Wales Hospital, The Chinese University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong; 2Institute of Digestive Disease, State Key Laboratory of Digestive Disease, Li Ka Shing Institute of Health Sciences, The Chinese University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong

Abstract: Colorectal cancer (CRC) is one of the most potentially curable cancers, yet it remains the fourth most common overall cause of cancer death worldwide. The identification of robust molecular prognostic biomarkers can refine the conventional tumor–node–metastasis staging system, avoid understaging of tumor, and help pinpoint patients with early-stage CRC who may benefit from aggressive treatments. Recently, epigenetic studies have provided new molecular evidence to better categorize the CRC subtypes and predict clinical outcomes. In this review, we summarize recent findings concerning the prognostic potential of microRNAs (miRNAs) in CRC. We first discuss the prognostic value of three tissue miRNAs (miR-21-5p, miR-29-3p, miR-148-3p) that have been examined in multiple studies. We also summarize the dysregulation of miRNA processing machinery DICER in CRC and its association with risk for mortality. We also reviewe the potential application of miRNA-associated single-nucleotide polymorphisms as prognostic biomarkers for CRC, especially the miRNA-associated polymorphism in the KRAS gene. Last but not least, we discuss the microsatellite instability-related miRNA candidates. Among all these candidates, miR-21-5p is the most promising prognostic marker, yet further prospective validation studies are required before it can go into clinical usage.

Keywords: microRNA, colorectal cancer, prognostic biomarker, single-nucleotide polymorphism, microsatellite instability

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