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Cancers 2015, 7(3), 1643-1657; doi:10.3390/cancers7030855

MicroRNAs and Chinese Medicinal Herbs: New Possibilities in Cancer Therapy

School of Chinese Medicine, Li Ka Shing Faculty of Medicine, The University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong, China
Department of Anatomy, Li KaShing Faculty of Medicine, The University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong, China
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Charles H. Lawrie
Received: 25 May 2015 / Revised: 4 August 2015 / Accepted: 17 August 2015 / Published: 24 August 2015
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Non-Coding RNAs in Cancers)
View Full-Text   |   Download PDF [129 KB, uploaded 24 August 2015]


In recent decades Chinese medicine has been used worldwide as a complementary and alternative medicine to treat cancer. Plenty of studies have shown that microRNAs (miRNAs) play fundamental roles in many pathological processes, including cancer, while the anti-cancer mechanisms of Chinese medicinal herbs targeting miRNAs also have been extensively explored. Our previous studies and those of others on Chinese medicinal herbs and miRNAs in various cancer models have provided a possibility of new cancer therapies, for example, up-regulating the expression of miR-23a may activate the positive regulatory network of p53 and miR-23a involved in the mechanism underlying the anti-tumor effect of berberine in hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC). In this review, we survey the role of Chinese medicinal herbal products in regulating miRNAs in cancer and the use of mediating miRNAs for cancer treatment. In addition, the controversial roles of herb-derived exogenous miRNAs in cancer treatment are also discussed. It is expected that targeting miRNAs would provide a novel therapeutic approach in cancer therapy by improving overall response and survival outcomes in cancer treatment, especially when combined with conventional therapeutics and Chinese medicinal herbal products. View Full-Text
Keywords: microRNAs; Chinese medicinal herbs; cancer therapy; exogenous microRNAs microRNAs; Chinese medicinal herbs; cancer therapy; exogenous microRNAs
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. (CC BY 4.0).

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Hong, M.; Wang, N.; Tan, H.Y.; Tsao, S.-W.; Feng, Y. MicroRNAs and Chinese Medicinal Herbs: New Possibilities in Cancer Therapy. Cancers 2015, 7, 1643-1657.

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