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J Clin Oncol. 2009 Dec 1;27(34):5848-56. doi: 10.1200/JCO.2009.24.0317. Epub 2009 Nov 2.

MicroRNAs in cancer: small molecules with a huge impact.

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  • 1Molecular Biology Unit, Department of Experimental Oncology, Fondazione Istituto di Ricovero e Cura a Carattere Scientifico, Istituto Nazionale Tumori, Milano, Italy.


Every cellular process is likely to be regulated by microRNAs, and an aberrant microRNA expression signature is a hallmark of several diseases, including cancer. MicroRNA expression profiling has indeed provided evidence of the association of these tiny molecules with tumor development and progression. An increasing number of studies have then demonstrated that microRNAs can function as potential oncogenes or oncosuppressor genes, depending on the cellular context and on the target genes they regulate. Here we review our current knowledge about the involvement of microRNAs in cancer and their potential as diagnostic, prognostic, and therapeutic tools.

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