The Emerging Role of miRNAs for the Radiation Treatment of Pancreatic Cancer

Nguyen, L., Schilling, D., Dobiasch, S., Raulefs, S., Santiago Franco, M., Buschmann, D., Pfaffl, M. W., Schmid, T. E., and Combs, S. E. (2020). Cancers (Basel) 12. doi: 10.3390/cancers12123703


Today, pancreatic cancer is the seventh leading cause of cancer-related deaths worldwide with a five-year overall survival rate of less than 7%. Only 15-20% of patients are eligible for curative intent surgery at the time of diagnosis. Therefore, neoadjuvant treatment regimens have been introduced in order to downsize the tumor by chemotherapy and radiotherapy. To further increase the efficacy of radiotherapy, novel molecular biomarkers are urgently needed to define the subgroup of pancreatic cancer patients who would benefit most from radiotherapy. MicroRNAs (miRNAs) could have the potential to serve as novel predictive and prognostic biomarkers in patients with pancreatic cancer. In the present article, the role of miRNAs as blood biomarkers, which are associated with either radioresistance or radiation-induced changes of miRNAs in pancreatic cancer, is discussed. Furthermore, the manuscript provides own data of miRNAs identified in a pancreatic cancer mouse model as well as radiation-induced miRNA changes in the plasma of tumor-bearing mice.