MicroRNAs are small non-coding RNAs which have been found to be very important in controlling a multitude of genes. Perlmutter Cancer Center scientists and investigators from Rosetta Genomics have shown that certain microRNAs can predict the prognosis of patients with mesothelioma. Moreover, they have also shown that one microRNA can distinguish between squamous cell cancer and other types of lung cancer.
Through funding from the National Cancer Institute, this group is now investigating levels of microRNAs in the serum of patients with mesothelioma and lung cancer in hopes of finding early detection markers in body fluids. In the future, it is hoped that microRNAs will also be found that can predict treatment response to chemotherapy and biological therapies.