Exosomes in cancer development and clinical applications

Yu Ling Tai, Ko Chien Chen, Jer Tsong Hsieh, Tang Long Shen

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

245 Scopus citations


Exosomes participate in cancer progression and metastasis by transferring bioactive molecules between cancer and various cells in the local and distant microenvironments. Such intercellular cross-talk results in changes in multiple cellular and biological functions in recipient cells. Several hallmarks of cancer have reportedly been impacted by this exosome-mediated cell-to-cell communication, including modulating immune responses, reprogramming stromal cells, remodeling the architecture of the extracellular matrix, or even endowing cancer cells with characteristics of drug resistance. Selectively, loading specific oncogenic molecules into exosomes highlights exosomes as potential diagnostic biomarkers as well as therapeutic targets. In addition, exosome-based drug delivery strategies in preclinical and clinical trials have been shown to dramatically decrease cancer development. In the present review, we summarize the significant aspects of exosomes in cancer development that can provide novel strategies for potential clinical applications.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2364-2374
Number of pages11
JournalCancer Science
Issue number8
StatePublished - Aug 2018


  • biomarker
  • cancer malignancy
  • cancer therapy
  • drug resistance
  • exosome

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Cancer Research


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