Extracellular vesicles in the tumor microenvironment: old stories, but new tales

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Title: Extracellular vesicles in the tumor microenvironment: old stories, but new tales
Authors: Han, L
Lam, EW-F
Sun, Y
Item Type: Journal Article
Abstract: Mammalian cells synthesize and release heterogeneous extracellular vesicles (EVs) which can be generally recognized as subclasses including exosomes, microvesicles (MVs), and apoptotic bodies (ABs), each differing in their biogenesis, composition and biological functions from others. EVs can originate from normal or cancer cells, transfer bioactive cargoes to both adjacent and distant sites, and orchestrate multiple key pathophysiological events such as carcinogenesis and malignant progression. Emerging as key messengers that mediate intercellular communications, EVs are being paid substantial attention in various disciplines including but not limited to cancer biology and immunology. Increasing lines of research advances have revealed the critical role of EVs in the establishment and maintenance of the tumor microenvironment (TME), including sustaining cell proliferation, evading growth suppression, resisting cell death, acquiring genomic instability and reprogramming stromal cell lineages, together contributing to the generation of a functionally remodeled TME. In this article, we present updates on major topics that document how EVs are implicated in proliferative expansion of cancer cells, promotion of drug resistance, reprogramming of metabolic activity, enhancement of metastatic potential, induction of angiogenesis, and escape from immune surveillance. Appropriate and insightful understanding of EVs and their contribution to cancer progression can lead to new avenues in the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of human malignancies in future medicine.
Issue Date: 30-Mar-2019
Date of Acceptance: 25-Feb-2019
ISSN: 1476-4598
Publisher: BioMed Central
Journal / Book Title: Molecular Cancer
Volume: 18
Copyright Statement: © 2019 The Author(s). Open Access. This article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License (, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons license, and indicate if changes were made. The Creative Commons Public Domain Dedication waiver ( applies to the data made available in this article, unless otherwise stated.
Sponsor/Funder: Cancer Research UK
Breast Cancer Now
Breast Cancer Now
Medical Research Council (MRC)
Funder's Grant Number: C37/A12011
Keywords: Cancer biology
Clinical biomarker
Extracellular vesicles
Therapeutic target
Tumor microenvironment
1112 Oncology and Carcinogenesis
Oncology & Carcinogenesis
Publication Status: Published
Conference Place: England
Article Number: 59
Appears in Collections:Division of Surgery
Division of Cancer

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