Role of microRNAs in the resistance of colorectal cancer to chemoradiotherapy (Review)
- Qi-Bing Wu
- Xin Sheng
- Ning Zhang
- Ming-Wei Yang
- Fan Wang
Published online on: February 20, 2018
Colorectal cancer (CRC) is among the main tumor-related causes of death worldwide. The fact that the majority of the patients develop resistance to chemoradiotherapy (CRT) is a major obstacle for the treatment of CRC. In order to develop more effective treatment strategies, it is crucial to elucidate the mechanisms underlying the development of resistance to CRT. Several studies have recently indicated the regulatory effects of microRNAs (miRNAs) in response to antitumor agents. For example, miR-34a attenuates the chemoresistance of colon cancer to 5-FU by inhibiting E2F3 and SIRT1. The miR-34a mimic MRX34 is the first synthetic miRNA to have been entered into clinical trials. miR-21 prevents tumor cell stemness, invasion and drug resistance, which are required for the development of CRC. These findings suggest that miRNAs represent a focus in the research of novel cancer treatments aimed at sensitizing cancer cells to chemotherapeutic drugs. The aim of the present study was to review the functions of miRNAs and investigate the roles of miRNAs in CRC radioresistance or chemoresistance. Furthermore, the potential of including miRNAs in therapeutic strategies and using them as molecular biomarkers for predicting radiosensitivity and chemosensitivity was discussed.