MicroRNAs are exquisite regulators of the human genome and play a large part in cancer protection, cancer evolution and the spread of cancer. Indeed microRNAs are specific and selective markers for differentiating cancer types, cancer virulence and the sensitivity of cancer to different drug treatments. Utilising microRNAs as biomarkers is a valuable strategy for paving the road to precision medicine of cancer.
MicroRNA control the expression of genes of which the major products are different proteins. Proteins are the building blocks and workers of the human body. Certain proteins protect against cancer and certain proteins are exploited by cancer for growth and spread.
There are many different types of microRNA with different targets. Many of the microRNA targets are also drug targets. Low levels of a specific microRNA, e.g. miR-XYZ, towards an oncogenic (cancer) protein, Protein XYZ, reflects the need of Drug A for preventing the spread of cancer.
On the other hand, high levels of miR-XYZ, implies that Drug A will not help the patient recover and a different treatment should be used.