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Mechanisms of breast cancer resistance to anthracyclines or taxanes: an overview of the proposed roles of noncoding RNA

Li, Xiu Juana,*; Zha, Quan Binb,*; Ren, Zhao Junc; Tang, Jin Haia; Yao, Yu Fenga

doi: 10.1097/CCO.0000000000000235
BREAST CANCER: Edited by Giuseppe Curigliano

Purpose of review Anthracyclines and taxanes are the two most active classes of cytotoxic agents that are commonly used for the treatment of breast cancer. However, resistance to these agents has become a major clinical obstacle. The aim of the present review is to define the roles of noncoding RNA (ncRNA) in breast cancer progression and the development of chemotherapy resistance. The ultimate goal is to exploit ncRNAs as new therapeutic tools to overcome resistance.

Recent findings Two important types of ncRNA include microRNA (miRNA) and long noncoding RNA (lncRNA). Both miRNA and lncRNA have recently impacted the field of breast cancer research as important pieces in the mechanistic puzzle of the genes and pathways involved in breast cancer development and progression.

Summary Herein, we review the roles of miRNA and lncRNA in breast cancer progression and the development of chemotherapy resistance. Future research should include identification of ncRNAs that could be potential therapeutic targets in chemotherapy-resistant tumors, as well as ncRNA biomarkers that facilitate more tumor-specific treatment options for chemotherapy-resistant breast cancer patients.

aDepartment of General Surgery, Jiangsu Cancer Hospital, Nanjing

bDepartment of Oncology, Jintan Hospital Affiliated to Jiangsu University, Jintan

cDepartment of Pathology, Jiangsu Cancer Hospital, Nanjing, China

*Xiu Juan Li and Quan Bin Zha contributed equally to this work.

Correspondence to Jin Hai Tang, Department of General Surgery, Nanjing Medical University Affiliated Cancer Hospital of Jiangsu Province, Cancer Institution of Jiangsu Province, Nanjing 210009, Jiangsu, PR China. E-mail:

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