MicroRNA signatures in human ovarian cancer

The Need:

Ovarian cancer remains a significant challenge in the field of medicine, with late-stage diagnosis and limited effective treatments contributing to high mortality rates. The need for improved diagnostic tools and targeted therapies is evident to address this aggressive disease. Conventional methods for early detection and treatment have proven insufficient, prompting the demand for innovative molecular biology technologies to revolutionize ovarian cancer management.

The Technology:

The technology presented is centered around microRNA (miRNA) molecules and their vital role in regulating gene expression at a post-transcriptional level. These miRNAs are 19-25 nucleotide-long molecules derived from hairpin pre-miRNA precursors, and they are responsible for influencing essential cellular processes such as cell growth, differentiation, and apoptosis. Moreover, miRNAs have shown aberrant expression or mutations in cancer, indicating their potential as oncogenes or tumor suppressor genes, depending on their target regulation. The technology involves methods and compositions for isolating, labeling, and preparing miRNAs for analysis or as analytical tools, including the use of miRNA arrays.

Commercial Applications:

  1. Ovarian Cancer Diagnostics: The technology can be utilized to identify a specific miRNA signature associated with ovarian cancer cells, enabling more accurate and early diagnosis of the disease. By measuring the levels of miRNAs in a test sample, relative to a control sample, the presence or risk of ovarian cancer in a subject can be determined.

  2. Prognostic Biomarkers: The identification of miRNA expression correlations with ovarian cancer biopathologic features, such as histotype, lymphovascular invasion, organ invasion, and ovarian surface involvement, provides valuable prognostic markers. These biomarkers can aid in predicting disease progression and tailoring individualized treatment plans.

  3. Targeted Therapeutics: By understanding the dysregulation of miRNAs in ovarian cancer cells, therapeutic agents can be developed to inhibit or enhance the expression of specific miRNAs. This targeted approach can modulate cellular pathways involved in tumor growth and proliferation, potentially leading to more effective and personalized treatments.


  1. Improved Early Detection: The technology's ability to identify an ovarian cancer-specific miRNA signature can significantly improve early detection rates. This enables timely intervention, resulting in better treatment outcomes and increased survival rates for patients.

  2. Personalized Treatment Strategies: The miRNA-based biomarkers allow for tailored treatment plans based on an individual's unique cancer profile. Targeted therapies can be developed, optimizing efficacy while minimizing adverse effects.

  3. Enhanced Prognostic Information: The correlation between miRNA expression and various biopathologic features provides enhanced prognostic information. Healthcare professionals can make more informed decisions regarding treatment strategies and patient management.

  4. Novel Therapeutic Targets: Identifying miRNAs associated with oncogenic or tumor suppressor functions opens up new avenues for drug development. Novel therapeutic agents can be designed to specifically target and regulate miRNA expression, leading to innovative treatments for ovarian cancer.

  5. Advancement in Research: The technology's use of miRNA microarray technologies allows researchers to gain deeper insights into the molecular mechanisms driving ovarian cancer. This understanding may pave the way for further advancements in cancer research and therapy.

In conclusion, the innovative miRNA-based technology offers promising solutions to the challenges posed by ovarian cancer. By enabling improved diagnostics, personalized treatments, and novel therapeutic targets, it holds the potential to revolutionize the management and prognosis of this devastating disease.

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