Volume 4, Issue 3 (2023) – 10 articles
Cover Picture:view this paper
Overview of extracellular vesicles and particle (EVP)-focused fields of study in cancer research. Intercellular communication: EVPs mediate intercellular communication between cancer, stromal, and immune cells by transferring various biomolecules to nearby as well as distant organs, resulting in both local and systemic effects. Cancer-derived EVPs stimulate angiogenesis, promote tumor growth, and suppress antitumor immunity, enhancing tumor invasion and metastatic potential. Heterogeneity: EVPs are highly diverse and new populations are constantly being discovered. The classification of new EVP populations requires multifaceted evaluation, including size, composition, membrane surface markers, and origin. Technology: various methods for separating EVPs, including differential ultracentrifugation, size exclusion chromatography, immunoaffinity capture, and asymmetric flow field flow fractionation, are available and they have their own advantages and disadvantages. Furthermore, analyses at the single EVP level, such as nanoparticle tracking analysis, high-sensitivity flow cytometry, high-resolution microscopy, as well as in vivo imaging, are now introduced. Biomarkers: EVPs in bodily fluids show potential as non-invasive biomarkers for early diagnosis, treatment response, and prognosis of cancer. Their constituent proteins, nucleic acids, lipids, and metabolites can be isolated and analyzed by mass spectrometry and next-generation sequencing. Treatment: EVPs can be used therapeutically by administering EVPs isolated from specific cells, loading various biomolecules such as anticancer or molecularly targeted drugs, or by engineering EVPs to enhance function. Strategies that block the production of tumor-derived EVPs or block the interaction of EVPs with target cells are also being investigated.