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Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2014, 15(6), 10508-10526; doi:10.3390/ijms150610508
Review

MicroRNAs in Brain Metastases: Potential Role as Diagnostics and Therapeutics

1
,
1,2
 and
1,2,3,*
1 Department of Internal Medicine, University of Cincinnati College of Medicine, Cincinnati, OH 45267, USA 2 Division of Hematology and Oncology, University of Cincinnati College of Medicine, Cincinnati, OH 45267, USA 3 The Vontz Center for Molecular Studies, University of Cincinnati College of Medicine, Cincinnati, OH 45267, USA
* Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 16 April 2014 / Revised: 22 May 2014 / Accepted: 6 June 2014 / Published: 11 June 2014
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Brain Metastasis 2014)
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Abstract

Brain metastases remain a daunting adversary that negatively impact patient survival. Metastatic brain tumors affect up to 45% of all cancer patients with systemic cancer and account for ~20% of all cancer-related deaths. A complex network of non-coding RNA molecules, microRNAs (miRNAs), regulate tumor metastasis. The brain micro-environment modulates metastatic tumor growth; however, defining the precise genetic events that promote metastasis in the brain niche represents an important, unresolved problem. Understanding these events will reveal disease-based targets and offer effective strategies to treat brain metastases. Effective therapeutic strategies based upon the biology of brain metastases represent an urgent, unmet need with immediate potential for clinical impact. Studies have demonstrated the ability of miRNAs to distinguish normal from cancerous cells, primary from secondary brain tumors, and correctly categorize metastatic brain tumor tissue of origin based solely on miRNA profiles. Interestingly, manipulation of miRNAs has proven effective in cancer treatment. With the promise of reduced toxicity, increased efficacy and individually directed personalized anti-cancer therapy, using miRNA in the treatment of metastatic brain tumors may prove very useful and improve patient outcome. In this review, we focus on the potential of miRNAs as diagnostic and therapeutic targets for the treatment of metastatic brain lesions.
Keywords: brain metastases; miRNA replacement therapy; antagomirs brain metastases; miRNA replacement therapy; antagomirs
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

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Alsidawi, S.; Malek, E.; Driscoll, J.J. MicroRNAs in Brain Metastases: Potential Role as Diagnostics and Therapeutics. Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2014, 15, 10508-10526.

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