Although it is now evident that microRNAs (miRNAs) play a critical regulatory role in
many, if not all, pathological and physiological processes, remarkably they have only formally been
recognized for less than fifteen years. These endogenously produced short non-coding RNAs have
created a new paradigm of gene control and have utility as both novel biomarkers of cancer and as potential
therapeutics. In this review we consider the role of miRNAs in lymphoid biology both under
physiological (i.e. lymphopoiesis) and malignant (i.e. lymphomagenesis) conditions. In addition to the
functional significance of aberrant miRNA expression in lymphomas we discuss their use as novel biomarkers, both as a
in situ tumour biomarker and as a non-invasive surrogate for the tumour by testing miRNAs in the blood of patients. Finally
we consider the use of these molecules as potential therapeutic agents for lymphoma (and other cancer) patients and
discuss some of the hurdles yet to be overcome in order to translate this potential into clinical practice.
Keywords: Biomarker, Hematological malignancies, Lymphoid, Lymphoma, microRNA, ncRNA.
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