Following MicroRNAs Through the Cancer Metastatic Cascade

Eleonora Grisard, Milena S. Nicoloso

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


Approximately a decade ago the first MicroRNAs (MiRNAs) participating in cancer metastasis were identified and metastmiRs were initially only a handful. Since those first reports, MiRNA research has explosively thrived, mainly due to their revolutionary mechanism of action and the hope of having at hand a novel tool to control cancer aggressiveness. This has ultimately led to delineate an almost impenetrable regulatory network: hundreds of MiRNAs transversally dominating every aspect of normal and cancer biology, each MiRNA having hundreds of targets and context-dependent activity. Providing a comprehensive description of MiRNA roles in cancer metastasis is a daunting task; nevertheless, we still believe that grasping the big picture of MiRNAs in cancer metastasis can give a different perspective on the potential insights and approaches that MiRNAs can offer to understand cancer complexity (e.g., as predictive and prognostic markers) and to tackle cancer metastasis (e.g., as therapeutic targets or tools). This chapter presents a schematic overview of the role of MiRNAs in governing cancer metastasis, describing step by step the cellular and molecular processes whereby cancer cells conquer distant organs and can grow as secondary tumors at different distant sites, and for each step, we will introduce how MiRNAs impinge on each one of them. We deeply apologize with our colleagues for any of their research work that, for clarity, for our effort to streamline and due to space limitations, we did not cite.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationInternational Review of Cell and Molecular Biology
PublisherElsevier Inc.
Number of pages56
Publication statusPublished - Jan 1 2017

Publication series

NameInternational Review of Cell and Molecular Biology
ISSN (Print)1937-6448


  • Cancer
  • Circulating tumor cells
  • Disseminating tumor cells
  • Metastasis
  • Metastatic cascade
  • MicroRNA signatures
  • MicroRNAs
  • Therapeutic targets

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Biology
  • Cell Biology


Dive into the research topics of 'Following MicroRNAs Through the Cancer Metastatic Cascade'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this