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Pancreas. 2012 Jul;41(5):671-7. doi: 10.1097/MPA.0b013e31823c9d21.

A review on the role of microRNA in biology, diagnosis, and treatment of pancreatic adenocarcinoma.

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  • 1Second Department of Surgery, Aretaieion Hospital, School of Medicine, University of Athens, Athens, Greece.



MicroRNAs are molecules implicated in RNA-RNA interaction, playing a role in cell proliferation and differentiation, as well as in carcinogenesis. Knowledge on their biological features is necessary to understand their role in phenotypic characteristics of pancreatic adenocarcinoma.


Review of current literature concerning mechanisms of action, studying methods, implementations, and preclinical trials on pancreatic adenocarcinoma.


More than 20 microRNAs have been identified, being involved in pancreatic adenocarcinoma biology, affecting tumor growth, metastatic potential, and chemosensitivity. Combinations of microRNAs can be used to differentiate between pancreatic adenocarcinoma and other pancreatic pathologies, as well as to assess prognosis. Manipulations of microRNAs can decrease the rate of growth or reinstall chemosensitivity to certain chemotherapeutic agents.


The field of microRNAs promises novel diagnostic and therapeutic tools in the management of pancreatic adenocarcinoma.

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