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Comparative and Functional Genomics
Volume 2009 (2009), Article ID 837514, 11 pages
http://dx.doi.org/10.1155/2009/837514
Review Article

MicroRNA Profiling and Head and Neck Cancer

1Center for Molecular Biology of Oral Diseases, UIC Cancer Center, College of Dentistry, Graduate College, University of Illinois at Chicago, Chicago, IL 60612, USA
2Guanghua School & Research Institute of Stomatology, Sun Yat-Sen University, Guangzhou 510055, China
3Department of Human Genetics & UCLA Microarray Core Facility, University of California at Los Angeles, Los Angeles, CA 90095, USA
4GenoSensor Corporation, Tempe, AZ 85282, USA

Received 14 January 2009; Accepted 13 March 2009

Academic Editor: W. Zhang

Copyright © 2009 Xiqiang Liu et al. 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.

Abstract

Head and neck/oral cancer (HNOC) is a devastating disease. Despite advances in diagnosis and treatment, mortality rates have not improved significantly over the past three decades. Improvement in patient survival requires a better understanding of the disease progression so that HNOC can be detected early in the disease process and targeted therapeutic interventions can be deployed. Accumulating evidence suggests that microRNAs play important roles in many human cancers. They are pivotal regulators of diverse cellular processes including proliferation, differentiation, apoptosis, survival, motility, and morphogenesis. MicroRNA expression patterns may become powerful biomarkers for diagnosis and prognosis of HNOC. In addition, microRNA therapy could be a novel strategy for HNOC prevention and therapeutics. Recent advances in microRNA expression profiling have led to a better understanding of the cancer pathogenesis. In this review, we will survey recent technological advances in microRNA profiling and their applications in defining microRNA markers/targets for cancer prediction, diagnostics, treatment, and prognostics. MicroRNA alterations that consistently identified in HNOC will be discussed, such as upregulation of miR-21, miR-31, miR-155, and downregulation of miR-26b, miR-107, miR-133b, miR-138, and miR-139.