Ovarian cancer is the most lethal gynecological cancer due to lack of early screening methods and acquired drug resistance. MicroRNAs (miRNAs) are effective post-transcriptional regulators that are transferred by extracellular vesicles, such as exosomes. Numerous studies have revealed that miRNAs are differentially expressed in epithelial ovarian cancer and act either as oncogenes or tumor-suppressor genes. Cancer cells secrete exosomes containing miRNAs, which exert various effects on the components of the tumor microenvironment, including cancer-associated fibroblasts, macrophages and adipocytes. On the other hand, cancer cells also receive exosomes from these cells. As a result of cell-to-cell communication, epithelial ovarian cancer acquires a more aggressive phenotype and resistance to multiple drugs. In addition, some circulating miRNAs are protected from RNase degradation in the peripheral blood and can be potential non-invasive biomarkers. In particular, the combination of several circulating miRNAs enhances the accuracy of cancer screening. Likewise, comprehensive analyses revealed specific miRNA signatures in non-epithelial ovarian tumors and several miRNAs contributing to alterations of carcinogenic pathways. Overall, miRNAs play a crucial role in ovarian cancer progression. In this review, we discuss the emerging roles of intra- and extra-cellular miRNAs in ovarian cancers. In the near future, miRNAs will be practical biomarkers and computational deep learning will help in the clinical application of miRNAs. Moreover, miRNAs are potential therapeutic targets and agents, and there are ongoing clinical trials of miRNA replacement therapy. Therefore, accelerating research on miRNA might improve the prognosis of patients with ovarian cancer.This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.
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