MicroRNAs (miRNAs) are small non‑coding RNA molecules that post‑transcriptionally regulate gene expression. They are linked to many developmental and pathological states including wound healing, cancer invasion, and metastasis, the primary cause of cancer‑related death. Colorectal cancer is one of the most common cancers in the western world and one that requires novel diagnostic and prognostic tools to ensure early‑stage detection and improve treatment regimens. Large cohort studies have identified miRNAs that are differentially expressed between normal colon and tumor epithelium, and further indicate that miRNA profiles might be able to differentiate between colorectal cancer subtypes. Consequently, much research is now focused on the functional roles of these individual miRNAs in the initiation and progression of colorectal cancer. Detection and therapeutic targeting of miRNAs that are aberrantly expressed in colorectal tumors could potentially improve patient outcome and minimise the need for invasive surgical procedures.