A new editorial has been published in Oncotargets Volume 14 on December 20, 2023, titled „Therapeutic Use of Cancer Stem Cell-Derived Exosomes.“
In this editorial, researcher Yong Teng from Emory University discusses exosomes derived from cancer stem cells. Cancer stem cells (CSCs), a small population of cancer cells capable of self-renewal, are believed to be a central hub for the development, growth, metastasis, and recurrence of tumors. The potential for the use of CSCs in the diagnosis and treatment of cancer is increasingly recognized. Exosomes are formed when multivesicular endosomes or multivesicular bodies fuse with the cell’s outer membrane, releasing various components such as DNA, RNA, lipids, metabolites, as well as cytosolic and cell surface proteins.
„In the last decade, our understanding of the properties and functions of cancer-associated exosomes has rapidly expanded.“
As key messengers, exosomes present in the tumor microenvironment (TME) play a crucial role in maintaining the delicate balance between CSCs and non-CSCs. Given the importance of CSCs, it can be assumed that exosomes derived from CSCs (CSC-Exos) are essential for communication between CSCs and other cells in the TME. Increasing evidence has shown that CSC-Exos significantly contribute to almost all fundamental aspects of cancer, including maintaining a continuous cycle of self-renewal within the TME, exerting control over neighboring or distant cells, the ability of cancer cells to evade immune surveillance, and promoting immune system tolerance.
„A deeper understanding of the properties and functions of CSC-Exos has the potential to lay the groundwork for the development of novel clinical tools for diagnosis and prognosis, as well as therapies aimed at preventing the progression and recurrence of tumors.“
Teng, Y. (2023). Therapeutic Use of Cancer Stem Cell-Derived Exosomes. Oncotarget. doi.org/10.18632/oncotarget.28542.