Diagnostic and Therapeutic Potential of Exosomes in Cancer: The Beginning of a New Tale?

Hamed Mirzaei, Amirhossein Sahebkar, Mahmoud Reza Jaafari, Mohammad Goodarzi, Hamid Reza Mirzaei

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

120 Scopus citations


Exosomes have emerged as one of the main players in intercellular communication. These small nano-sized particles have many roles in various physiological pathways in normal and abnormal cells. Exosomes can carry various cargos such as proteins, mRNAs, and miRNAs to recipient cells. Uptake of exosomes and their cargo can induce and/or inhibit different cellular and molecular pathways that lead to the alteration of cell behavior. Multiple lines of evidence have indicated that exosomes released from cancer cells can effect development of cancer in different stages. These particles and their cargo could regulate different processes such as tumor growth, metastasis, drug resistance, angiogenesis, and immune system functioning. It has been observed that exosomes can be used as potential diagnostic biomarkers in various cancer types. Moreover, some studies have used these particles as biological vehicles for delivery of various drugs such as doxorubicin, siRNAs, and miRNAs. Here, we summarized the findings on the role of exosomes in different pathological processes involved in cancer. Moreover, application of these particles as diagnostic and therapeutic biomarkers in different types of cancers is discussed. J. Cell. Physiol. 232: 3251–3260, 2017.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)3251-3260
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of cellular physiology
Issue number12
StatePublished - Dec 2017

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physiology
  • Clinical Biochemistry
  • Cell Biology


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