Epithelial ovarian cancer is the most fatal gynecologic cancer. Recent studies suggest an extraovarian origin for this disease. However, there is lack of information on exact etiology of ovarian cancer, and screening markers are also lacking. Non-coding RNA, particularly microRNAs are currently intensively investigated. They may be implicated in various cellular processes and regulate the gene expression at post-transcriptional level. In carcinogenesis, they may be involved as well, e.g. as tumor suppressors, or oncogenes. There have been identifi ed expression profi les of microRNAs for various types of samples in ovarian cancer, however no expression profi le is currently available for use in clinical diagnosis of ovarian cancer. Analyses of non-invasively collected material (e.g. urine, saliva) and further analyses of serum, or blood may provide basis for establishment of better diagnostic tools. We reviewed the studies on microRNAs shown to be deregulated in ovarian cancer, and coming from tumor tissues, plasma exosomes, serum, whole blood, and diff ering also between recurrent vs. primary ovarian cancer tissues. Function of particular microRNA is known partially only in several cases; however, for many microRNAs an elucidation of their functional role remains the goal for future investigations. MicroRNAs thus may stand at the beginning of novel diagnostic and therapeutic tools for ovarian cancer and other malignancies.
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