Theranostics 2013; 3(12):943-952. doi:10.7150/thno.7445

Review

Micro-RNAs as Potential New Molecular Biomarkers in Oncology: Have They Reached Relevance for the Clinical Imaging Sciences?

Frank Berger, Maximilian F. Reiser

Department for Clinical Radiology, Ludwig-Maximilians-University, Campus Innenstadt, Nussbaumstrasse 20, 80336 Munich, Germany

Abstract

Minimally invasive biomarkers for early cancer detection and monitoring of personalized therapies are of high importance to further improve prognosis in oncological disease. MicroRNAs (miRNAs) are small regulatory RNAs in humans and play a key role in carcinogenesis. In recent years they have emerged as promising biomarkers in oncology. miRNA profiling has demonstrated its capacity for sub-classifying tumors and monitoring of therapeutic effects. Different expression profiles of miRNAs in cancer and the stability of circulating miRNAs potentially provide a clinically accessible molecular monitoring tool of malignant tissues and its response to therapies. Clinical imaging including the modalities PET/CT and MRI is well established for characterizing tumor tissue and sub-classifying morphological, metabolic or vascular treatment response in cancer. Sophisticated clinical imaging biomarkers for cancer detection and monitoring should now been correlatively applied to further validate the potential of miRNAs as oncologic biomarkers for the clinic.

Keywords: MicroRNA, Treatment Monitoring, Personalized Therapy, Cancer Imaging, Biomarker

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How to cite this article:
Berger F, Reiser MF. Micro-RNAs as Potential New Molecular Biomarkers in Oncology: Have They Reached Relevance for the Clinical Imaging Sciences?. Theranostics 2013; 3(12):943-952. doi:10.7150/thno.7445. Available from http://www.thno.org/v03p0943.htm