Liver cancer is the leading cause of cancer-related mortality in the world. This mainly reflects the lack of early diagnosis tools and effective treatment methods. MicroRNAs (miRNAs) are a class of non-transcribed RNAs, some of which play important regulatory roles in liver cancer. Here, we discuss microRNAs with key impacts on liver cancer, such as miR-122, miR-21, miR-214, and miR-199. These microRNAs participate in various physiological regulatory pathways of liver cancer cells, and their modulation can have non-negligible effects in the treatment of liver cancer. We discuss whether these microRNAs can be used for better clinical diagnosis and/or drug devel-opment. With the advent of novel technologies, fast, inexpensive, and non-invasive RNA-based bi-omarker research has become a new mainstream approach. However, the clinical application of microRNA-based markers has been limited by the high sequence similarity among them and the potential for off-target problems. Therefore, researchers particularly value microRNAs that are specific to or have special functions in liver cancer. These include miR-122, which is specifically expressed in the liver, and miR-34, which is necessary for the replication of the hepatitis C virus in liver cancer. Clinical treatment drugs have been developed based on miR-34 and miR-122 (MRX34 and Miravirsen, respectively), but their side effects have not yet been overcome. Future research is needed to address these weaknesses and establish a feasible microRNA-based treatment strategy for liver cancer.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Cancer Research