J Cancer 2013; 4(3):281-295. doi:10.7150/jca.5836


The Diagnostic and Prognostic Role of microRNA in Colorectal Cancer - a Comprehensive review

Haggi Mazeh1, Ido Mizrahi1, Nadia Ilyayev1, David Halle1, Björn LDM Brücher1,2,3,4, Anton Bilchik2,3,4,5, Mladjan Protic2,3,4,6, Martin Daumer2,3,7, Alexander Stojadinovic2,3,4,8, Itzhak Avital7,8, Aviram Nissan2,3,4,9✉

1. Department of Surgery, Hadassah-Hebrew University Medical Center, Jerusalem, Israel.
2. Theodor-Billroth-Academy®, Munich, Germany.
3. INCORE = International Consortium of Research Excellence of the Theodor-Billroth-Academy®.
4. United States Military Cancer Institute, Washington, D.C.
5. John Wayne Cancer Institute, Santa Monica, CA, USA.
6. Clinic of Abdominal, Endocrine, and Transplantation Surgery, Clinical Center of Vojvodina, Novi Sad, Serbia.
7. Sylvia Lawry Center for MS Research, Munich, Germany.
8. Department of Surgery, Walter Reed National Military Medical Center, Bethesda, MD, and the United States Military Cancer Institute, Washington, D.C. USA.
9. Bon Secours Cancer Institute, Richmond, VA, USA.

This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution (CC BY-NC) License. See http://ivyspring.com/terms for full terms and conditions.
Mazeh H, Mizrahi I, Ilyayev N, Halle D, Brücher BLDM, Bilchik A, Protic M, Daumer M, Stojadinovic A, Avital I, Nissan A. The Diagnostic and Prognostic Role of microRNA in Colorectal Cancer - a Comprehensive review. J Cancer 2013; 4(3):281-295. doi:10.7150/jca.5836. Available from https://www.jcancer.org/v04p0281.htm

File import instruction


The discovery of microRNA, a group of regulatory short RNA fragments, has added a new dimension to the diagnosis and management of neoplastic diseases. Differential expression of microRNA in a unique pattern in a wide range of tumor types enables researches to develop a microRNA-based assay for source identification of metastatic disease of unknown origin. This is just one example of many microRNA-based cancer diagnostic and prognostic assays in various phases of clinical research.

Since colorectal cancer (CRC) is a phenotypic expression of multiple molecular pathways including chromosomal instability (CIN), micro-satellite instability (MIS) and CpG islands promoter hypermethylation (CIMP), there is no one-unique pattern of microRNA expression expected in this disease and indeed, there are multiple reports published, describing different patterns of microRNA expression in CRC.

The scope of this manuscript is to provide a comprehensive review of the scientific literature describing the dysregulation of and the potential role for microRNA in the management of CRC. A Pubmed search was conducted using the following MeSH terms, "microRNA" and "colorectal cancer". Of the 493 publications screened, there were 57 papers describing dysregulation of microRNA in CRC.

Keywords: microRNA, colorectal cancer