Article Abstract

Profiling of plasma-derived extracellular vesicles cargo for diagnosis of pancreatic malignancy

Authors: Theresa L. Whiteside


Extracellular vesicles (EVs) and their smallest subset, exosomes, have been emerging as potentially promising biomarkers of cancer detection, prognosis and response to therapy. There are several reasons why EVs, and especially tumor-derived exosomes, have become of great interest as “liquid biopsies” to investigators engaged in monitoring cancer progression and treatments. Tumors produce a variety of EVs (exosomes, microvesicles, apoptotic bodies, collectively called “tEVs”), all of which carry tumor-derived molecular and genetic materials (1). However, the cellular mechanisms responsible for tEVs formation and release by the parent cell differ for different EV types (2). While microvesicles “pinch off” from the cell surface, exosomes originate from the endocytic compartment of the parent cell and are released into intercellular space upon fusion of the multivesicular bodies (MVBs) with the surface membrane. Apoptotic bodies are large aggregates of dying cells.