The discovery of driver oncogene alterations in non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC), such as EGFR,
EML4-ALK, MET and RAS, as well as the identification of their specific targeted inhibitors have led to new
opportunities for treatment of this tumor.
Drug resistance, intrinsic or acquired, represents the major cause of failure of novel biological agents.
MicroRNAs (miRNAs) are a family of small non-coding RNAs that can silence their cognate target genes by
specifically binding mRNAs or inhibiting their translation. The recent evidences that several micro-RNAs can
modulate the oncogenic driver pathways in NSCLC and that they are involved in drug resistance of their targeted
inhibitors, have paved the way for new therapeutic strategies.
This minireview aims 1) to explore the potential mechanisms by which key miRNAs may up-regulate or down-regulate specific
oncogenic driver pathways; 2) highlight the role of microRNAs in the mechanisms of resistance to targeted therapies; 3) discuss the
therapeutic potential by using short-interfering RNAs or artificial miRNAs as anti-cancer therapies.