Resistance to radiation is considered to be an important reason for local failure after radiotherapy and tumor recurrence. However, the exact mechanisms of tumor resistance remain poorly understood. Current investigations of microRNAs as potential diagnostic and therapeutic tools for cancer treatment have shown promising results. With respect to radiotherapy resistance and response, there is now emerging evidence that microRNAs modulate key cellular pathways that mediate response to radiation. These data suggest that microRNAs might have significant potential as targets for the development of new therapeutic strategies to overcome radioresistance in cancer. This review summarizes the current literature pertinent to the influence of microRNAs in the response to radiotherapy for cancer treatment, with an emphasis on microRNAs as novel diagnostic and prognostic markers, as well as their potential to alter radiosensitivity.
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