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Utilization of Micrornas in Colorectal Cancer: A Review

Colorectal cancer (CRC) is the 3rd most common cancer worldwide causing over half a million deaths annually. Five year survival rate for early stage disease is around 90% which makes early disease detection and management immensely important. Current screening practices include the use of fecal occult blood test (FOBT), radiological scans and endoscopy. However, limitations exist with the use of these screening techniques and there prevails a need to develop noninvasive, reliable and cost-effective screening methods. MicroRNAs are sequences of non-coding RNA that regulate expression of many important cellular functions and are estimated to regulate over 30% of human genes. Alterations in the expression of microRNAs contribute to human disease. Expression of microRNAs in development and progression of CRC has gained widespread attention in the last decade. MicroRNAs have shown the potential to be used as molecular markers in diagnosis, prognosis and chemosensitivity of CRC. However, additional research is needed before they can be adapted in the clinical realm.

Author(s): Buria Naeem and Adil Ayub