Table of Contents
Pathology Research International
Volume 2011, Article ID 780652, 7 pages
http://dx.doi.org/10.4061/2011/780652
Review Article

Clinical Significance of MicroRNA Expression Profiles and Polymorphisms in Lung Cancer Development and Management

1Department of Experimental Medicine, Sapienza University of Rome, Viale Regina Elena, 324-00161 Rome, Italy
2Department of Molecular Medicine, Sapienza University of Rome, Viale Regina Elena, 324-00161 Rome, Italy

Received 12 January 2011; Revised 1 June 2011; Accepted 7 June 2011

Academic Editor: P. J. Van Diest

Copyright © 2011 Francesca Megiorni 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

Lung cancers account for a huge percentage of death in industrialized countries, and hence there is an increasing call for the development of novel treatments. These malignancies are caused by a combination of environmental factors, principally cigarette smoking and genetic alterations. MicroRNAs (miRNAs) are a recently discovered class of regulatory noncoding small RNAs with a significance in numerous biological processes. Strong evidence links miRNA impaired expression profiles and pathways to the etiology of several diseases, including neoplasia. This paper focuses on the emerging role of miRNA function in lung cancer development with particular highlighting on the use of miRNA profiles and polymorphisms for the molecular and biological characterization of tumor pulmonary growth and progression. Furthermore, we underline the potential utility of lung cancer-associated miRNAs as clinical biomarkers with a diagnostic, prognostic, and therapeutic significance and give emphasis to the promising novel miRNA-based curative strategies.