Lymph node metastasis (LNM) in papillary thyroid cancer (PTC) has been shown to be associated with increased risk of locoregional recurrence, poor prognosis and decreased survival, especially in older patients. Hence, there is a need for a reliable biomarker for the prediction of LNM in this cancer. MicroRNAs (miRNAs) are small noncoding RNAs that regulate gene translation or degradation and play key roles in numerous cellular functions including cell-cycle regulation, differentiation, apoptosis, invasion and migration. Various studies have demonstrated deregulation of miRNA levels in many diseases including cancers. While a large number of miRNAs have been identified from PTCs using various means, association of miRNAs with LNM in such cases is still controversial. Furthermore, studies linking most of the identified miRNAs to the mechanism of LNM have not been well documented. The aim of this review is to update readers on the current knowledge of miRNAs in relation to LNM in PTC.
* Title and MeSH Headings from MEDLINE®/PubMed®, a database of the U.S. National Library of Medicine.