Osteosarcoma is a malignant tumor of the bones that commonly occurs in young individuals. The 5-year survival rate of osteosarcoma patients is 60–70%. Metastasis to the lungs leads to death in 30–40% of osteosarcoma patients. Therefore, the development of effective strategies for early detection and treatment of this disease are important to improve the survival of osteosarcoma patients. However, metastatic markers for osteosarcoma and molecules that might be targeted for the treatment of metastatic osteosarcoma have not been identified yet. Therefore, the mechanism of metastasis to the lungs needs to be explored from a novel viewpoint. Recently, the aberrant expression of microRNAs (miRNAs) has been reported to be involved in the carcinogenesis and cancer progression of many cancers. Furthermore, miRNAs in the blood have been reported to show an aberrant expression unique to several cancers. Therefore, miRNAs are gaining attention as potential diagnostic markers for cancers. On the other hand, normalizing the dysregulated expression of miRNAs in cancer cells has been shown to alter the phenotype of cancer cells, and thus treatment strategies targeting miRNAs are also being considered. This review summarizes the abnormality of miRNA expression associated with the metastasis of osteosarcoma and describes the present situation and issues regarding the early diagnosis and development of treatment strategies for metastatic osteosarcoma based on the current understanding of this disease.
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