Current and New Challenges in the Management of Pancreatic Neuroendocrine Tumors: The Role of miRNA-Based Approaches as New Reliable Biomarkers
Havasi A, Sur D, Cainap SS, Lungulescu CV, Gavrilas LI, Cainap C, Vlad C, Balacescu O
International Journal of Molecular Sciences. 2022;23(3):1109 (IF = 5.924)
Abstract Pancreatic neuroendocrine tumors (PanNETs) are rare tumors; however, their incidence greatly increases with age, and they occur more frequently among the elderly. They represent 5% of all pancreatic tumors, and despite the fact that low-grade tumors often have an indolent evolution, they portend a poor prognosis in an advanced stages and undifferentiated tumors. Additionally, functional pancreatic neuroendocrine tumors greatly impact quality of life due to the various clinical syndromes that result from abnormal hormonal secretion. With limited therapeutic and diagnostic options, patient stratification and selection of optimal therapeutic strategies should be the main focus. Modest improvements in the management of pancreatic neuroendocrine tumors have been achieved in the last years. Therefore, it is imperative to find new biomarkers and therapeutic strategies to improve patient survival and quality of life, limiting the disease burden. MicroRNAs (miRNAs) are small endogenous molecules that modulate the expression of thousands of genes and control numerous critical processes involved in tumor development and progression. New data also suggest the implication of miRNAs in treatment resistance and their potential as prognostic or diagnostic biomarkers and therapeutic targets. In this review, we discusses the current and new challenges in the management of PanNETs, including genetic and epigenetic approaches. Furthermore, we summarize the available data on miRNAs as potential prognostic, predictive, or diagnostic biomarkers and discuss their function as future therapeutic targets.