The absence of reliable quantitative laboratory tests for measurements of microRNAs and other classes of small noncoding RNAs in archived, formalin-fixed, paraffin-embedded human samples with sufficient specificity and sensitivity has significantly limited the development of clinically relevant noncoding RNA–based diagnostic and therapeutic applications. A report by Renwick et al. in this issue of the JCI presents a significant technical and methodological advance toward the development of reliable clinical laboratory-compatible multicolor RNA FISH methodology for molecular diagnostic applications and the near-term prospect of introduction of microRNA-based biomarkers into clinical practice. Further, this work is likely to advance the development of RNA-based therapeutics and next-generation individualized nanomedicine.
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