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Molecules 2014, 19(5), 5821-5862; doi:10.3390/molecules19055821

Significance and Therapeutic Value of miRNAs in Embryonal Neural Tumors

Department of Oncology, University Children's Hospital of Zurich, Zurich 8008, Switzerland
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 3 March 2014 / Revised: 25 April 2014 / Accepted: 28 April 2014 / Published: 6 May 2014
(This article belongs to the Special Issue miRNAs as Probes to Monitor Cancer and Neurodegenerative Disorders)
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Embryonal tumors of the nervous system are the leading cause of childhood cancer-related morbidity and mortality. Medulloblastoma, supratentorial primitive neuroectodermal tumors, atypical teratoid/rhabdoid tumor and neuroblastoma account for more than 20% of childhood malignancies and typify the current neural embryonal tumor model in pediatric oncology. Mechanisms driving the formation of these tumors point towards impaired differentiation of neuronal and neuron-associated cells during the development of the nervous system as an important factor. The importance of microRNAs (miRNAs) for proper embryonic cell function has been confirmed and their aberrant expressions have been linked to tumor development. The role of miRNAs in controlling essential regulators of key pathways implicated in tumor development makes their use in diagnostics a powerful tool to be used for early detection of cancer, risk assessment and prognosis, as well as for the design of innovative therapeutic strategies. In this review we focus on the significance of miRNAs involved in the biology of embryonal neural tumors, delineate their clinical significance and discuss their potential as a novel therapeutic target.
Keywords: embryonal tumors; microRNAs; medulloblastoma; sPNET; AT/RT; neuroblastoma embryonal tumors; microRNAs; medulloblastoma; sPNET; AT/RT; neuroblastoma
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY 3.0).

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Shalaby, T.; Fiaschetti, G.; Baumgartner, M.; Grotzer, M.A. Significance and Therapeutic Value of miRNAs in Embryonal Neural Tumors. Molecules 2014, 19, 5821-5862.

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