MicroRNAs in the tumor microenvironment: Solving the riddle for a better diagnostics

Kishore B. Challagundla, Francesca Fanini, Ivan Vannini, Petra Wise, Mariam Murtadha, Lawrence Malinconico, Amelia Cimmino, Muller Fabbri

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

46 Scopus citations


miRNAs are small noncoding RNAs with gene regulatory functions, frequently dysregulated in human cancers. Specific signatures of differentially expressed miRNAs can be used in the diagnosis of cancer and in some cases harbor prognostic implications. The biology of cancer is dictated not only by cancer cells but also by the surrounding tumor microenvironment. In particular, the role of miRNAs within the tumor microenvironment is emerging as of paramount importance. This review will focus on the current knowledge of the role of miRNAs and both cellular and stromal components of the tumor microenvironment. We will also discuss more recent findings, showing that miRNAs can be found inside of exosomes and mediate the cross-talk between cancer cells and surrounding cells, leading to the discovery of new fascinating molecular mechanisms leading to a better understanding of the cancer 'niche' and how these noncoding RNAs can become very promising diagnostic molecules.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)565-574
Number of pages10
JournalExpert Review of Molecular Diagnostics
Issue number5
StatePublished - Jun 2014
Externally publishedYes


  • Biomarker
  • Exosomes
  • Extracellular matrix
  • Immunity
  • Inflammation
  • MiRNA
  • Stroma
  • Toll-like receptor
  • Tumor microenvironment

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pathology and Forensic Medicine
  • Molecular Medicine
  • Molecular Biology
  • Genetics


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