Sunita R. Setlur
Brigham and Women’s Hospital, Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA 02115, USA
Ovarian cancer accounts for majority of deaths seen among gynecological cancers. The advanced stage of disease at diagnosis and the development of chemoresistance, are the primary factors underlying the increased rate of mortality. Lack of both specific symptoms and effective detection strategies make early diagnsosis a challenge. Therefore development of improved diagnostic methods and better treatment strategies are required to reduce disease mortality. One of the molecular changes that occur during cancer progression includes alterations in the expression patterns of microRNAs (miRNA). miRNAs belong to the class of small noncoding RNAs that are involved in gene regulation. miRNAs have emerged as promising targets for early detection owing to their stability in serum and plasma samples. We utilized a murine model of ovarian cancer originating in the fallopian tube epithelial cells that accurately recapitulates the histopathology of precursor serous tubal intraepithelial carcinoma (STIC) lesions, and clinical behavior of human disease to systematically identify miRNAs that are associated with ovarian cancer progression. Early microRNA biomarkers offer a new avenue towards developing starategies for early diagnosis and treatment of ovarian cancer.