Breast cancer is the most common malignant tumor in females. It represents a complex heterogeneous group of tumors that display significant diversity with respect to histopathological features and therapeutic responses. Many researchers have focused on biomarkers, which will facilitate detection of breast cancer in its early stages, and microRNAs have shown immense potential for this purpose. microRNAs are a family of highly conserved noncoding single˗stranded RNA molecules of 21-25 nucleotides. microRNAs have been shown to have important roles in oncogenesis, invasion, and metastasis via epigenetic post-transcriptional gene regulation. Recent evidence indicates that the expression of miR-181a is altered in breast tumour tissues and in the serum of breast cancer patients. Some studies have demonstrated the involvement of miR-181a in the control of gene expression in breast cancer. The main thrust of this presentation is to explain the potency of miR-181a as a prognostic and/or diagnostic biomarker and to discuss the targeting therapeutics, as well as the associated challenges.

Pierre Hardy, MD, PhD is a clinical scientist, Professor of Pediatrics, Pharmacology and Physiology at the University of Montreal who has extensive experience in translational medicine regarding solid tumors, cancer biology, gene therapy and biotechnologies (application of nanomedicines in cancer therapy). He has published over 150 papers in peer-reviewed journals. Some of his recent publications include Journal of controlled release 298 (2019): 177-185; Experimental Cell Research 386 (2020): 111737.