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MicroRNAs in Cancer Management: Big Challenges for Small Molecules

Call for Papers

In the last decade, increasing attention has been devoted to the study of microRNAs (miRNAs), 22 nt long RNAs able to exert a negative posttranscriptional regulation on cohorts of target mRNAs, thus playing a role as master regulators of entire biological processes. In the cancer field, investigation led to the identification of miRNAs as potential biomarkers for tumor diagnosis and prediction of patient’s prognosis or response to treatment. In addition, a number of miRNAs have been shown to directly participate to tumorigenesis by acting as “oncoMirs” or “tumor suppressive miRNAs,” thus becoming potential key targets or tools for anticancer therapy. However, a number of technical issues still need to be solved before miRNAs may actually enter the clinical armamentarium as either markers or therapeutic agents. In particular, our knowledge about the mechanisms of miRNA function and expression regulation is still fragmentary when compared to what is needed for the development of reliable and safe miRNA-based clinical strategies. This issue is intended to provide evidence of the potential usefulness of miRNAs in cancer management as well as focus on the still unsolved technical and conceptual challenges in miRNA research. Potential topics include, but are not limited to:

  • MiRNAs as markers for cancer detection, risk assessment, and prediction of therapy response
  • MiRNAs as oncogenes or tumor suppressors: relevance in cancer development and progression, functional targets
  • MiRNA detection: methods for miRNA isolation and quantification, in situ detection, subcellular localization, miRNA profiling, normalization and identification of endogenous controls, and bioinformatics applied to miRNA research
  • Complexity of miRNA biogenesis: transcription, host genes, processing, posttranscriptional modifications, and miRNA degradation
  • MiRNA target prediction and identification: tools, experimental validation, factors affecting miRNA-target interaction, and ceRNAs
  • MiRNA inhibition/overexpression for functional studies and therapeutic approaches: strategies, off-target effects, in vivo applications, and use of miRNA-based therapies as a “one hit-multitarget approach” for direct antitumor effect or in combination with conventional treatments
  • MiRNA knock-out and knock-in in vivo

Before submission authors should carefully read over the journal’s Author Guidelines, which are located at http://www.hindawi.com/journals/bmri/guidelines/. Prospective authors should submit an electronic copy of their complete manuscript through the journal Manuscript Tracking System at http://mts.hindawi.com/submit/journals/bmri/genetics/mcbs/ according to the following timetable:

Manuscript DueFriday, 6 June 2014
First Round of ReviewsFriday, 29 August 2014
Publication DateFriday, 24 October 2014

Lead Guest Editor

  • Paolo Gandellini, Department of Experimental Oncology and Molecular Medicine, Fondazione IRCCS Istituto Nazionale dei Tumori, Via Amadeo 42, 20133 Milan, Italy

Guest Editors

  • Elisa Giovannetti, Department of Medical Oncology, VU University Medical Center, De Boelelaan 1117, 1081 HV Amsterdam, The Netherlands
  • Francesco Nicassio, Center for Genomic Science of IIT@SEMM at the Istituto Italiano di Tecnologia, Via Adamello 16, 20139 Milan, Italy