MicroRNAs (miRNAs) are a class of single-stranded noncoding and endogenous RNA molecules with a length of 18-25 nucleotides. Previous work has shown that miR-124-3p leads to malignant progression of cancer including cell apoptosis, migration, invasion, drug resistance, and also recovers neural function, affects adipogenic differentiation, facilitates wound healing through control of various target genes. miR-124-3p has been mainly previously characterized as a tumor suppressor regulating tumorigenesis and progression in several cancers, such as hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC), gastric cancer (GC), bladder cancer, ovarian cancer (OC), and leukemia, as a tumor promotor in breast cancer (BC), and it has been also widely studied in a variety of neurological diseases, like Parkinson’s disease (PD), dementia and Alzheimer’s disease (AD), and cardiovascular diseases, ulcerative colitis (UC), acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS). To lay the groundwork for future therapeutic strategies, in this review we mainly focus on the most recent years of literature on the functions of miR-124-3p in related major cancers, as well as its downstream target genes. Although current work as yet provides an incomplete picture, miR-124-3p is still worthy of more attention as a practical and effective clinical biomarker.