miRNAs as biomarkers and for the early detection of non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC)

Yichao Han, Hecheng Li


Lung cancer is the most frequently diagnosed cancer and the most common cause of cancer death globally, of which 85% is non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC). Early detection of NSCLC is essential to identify potential individuals for radical cure. Although low-dose computed tomography (LDCT) is recommended as standard screening with a mortality reduction of 20%, it displays a high false positive rate that poses an issue of overdiagnosis. MicroRNAs (miRNAs) are a group of small non-coding RNAs acting as important regulators in post-transcriptional gene expression and have been studied for their extensive role as novel biomarkers in NSCLC. Herein, we discuss the miRNA biology, its role in cancer, the potential of biomarkers both in cancer and NSCLC, and promising current publications of diagnostic biomarkers for early detection in NSCLC, especially studies in order to complement LDCT screening.