Potential role of micro-RNAs in head and neck tumorigenesis

Nham Tran*, Christopher J. O'Brien, Jonathan Clark, Barbara Rose

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

50 Citations (Scopus)


A new class of regulatory molecules known as microRNAs (miRNAs) is redefining our understanding of the molecular pathways associated with tumorigenesis. These miRNAs are small noncoding RNA (ncRNA) sequences with potent regulatory potential. The aberrant expression of miRNAs has been associated with the development of various tumors. It has been suggested that miRNAs can both regulate and act as tumor-suppressor genes and oncogenes. Our understanding of the role of miRNAs in head and neck tumorigenesis is in its infancy. However, several recent studies have revealed extensive dysregulation of miRNA in head and neck tumors and have highlighted the potential of certain miRNAs to act as diagnostic and prognostic markers and targets for new therapeutic agents. The intent of this review is to discuss and summarize current findings that point to a significant role for miRNAs in head and neck tumorigenesis.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1099-1111
Number of pages13
JournalHead and Neck
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2010
Externally publishedYes


  • Biomarkers
  • Gene regulation
  • Head and neck
  • microRNAs
  • Oncogenes


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