Lung cancer is the leading cause of cancer death in men and women worldwide. The lack of specific and sensitive tools for early diagnosis as well as still-inadequate targeted therapies contribute to poor outcomes. MicroRNAs are small non-coding RNAs, which regulate gene expression post-transcriptionally by translational repression or degradation of target mRNAs. A growing body of evidence suggests various roles of microRNAs including development and progression of lung cancer. In lung cancer, several studies have showed that certain microRNA profiles classified lung cancer subtypes, and that specific microRNA expression signatures distinguished between better-prognosis and worse-prognosis lung cancers. Furthermore, microRNAs circulate in body fluids, and therefore may serve as promising biomarkers for early diagnosis of lung cancer as well as for predicting prognosis of patients. In the present review, we briefly summarize microRNAs in the development and progression of lung cancer, focusing on possible applications of microRNAs as novel biomarkers and tools for treatment.
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