Affiliation: Division of Oncology- Department of Oncology, Azienda USL-6 of Livorno, Viale Alfieri 36, 57100 LIVORNO, Italy.
The discovery of driver oncogene alterations in non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC), such as EGFR, EML4-ALK, MET and RAS, as well as the identification of their specific targeted inhibitors have led to new opportunities for treatment of this tumor.
Drug resistance, intrinsic or acquired, represents the major cause of failure of novel biological agents.
MicroRNAs (miRNAs) are a family of small non-coding RNAs that can silence their cognate target genes by specifically binding mRNAs or inhibiting their translation. The recent evidences that several micro-RNAs can modulate the oncogenic driver pathways in NSCLC and that they are involved in drug resistance of their targeted inhibitors, have paved the way for new therapeutic strategies.
This minireview aims 1) to explore the potential mechanisms by which key miRNAs may up-regulate or down-regulate specific oncogenic driver pathways; 2) highlight the role of microRNAs in the mechanisms of resistance to targeted therapies; 3) discuss the therapeutic potential by using short-interfering RNAs or artificial miRNAs as anti-cancer therapies.