Exosomes and their role in the micro-/macro-environment: A comprehensive review

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

44 Scopus citations


The importance of extracellular vesicles (EVs) in cell-cell communication has long been recognized due to their ability to transfer important cellular cargoes such as DNA, mRNA, miRNAs, and proteins to target cells. Compelling evidence supports the role of EVs in the horizontal transfer of cellular material which has the potential to influence normal cellular physiology and promote various disease states. Of the different types of EVs, exosomes have garnered much attention in the past decade due to their abundance in various biological fluids and ability to affect multiple organ systems. The main focus of this review will be on cancer and how cancer-derived exosomes are important mediators of metastasis, angiogenesis, immune modulation, and the tumor macro-/microenvironment. We will also discuss exosomes as potential biomarkers for cancers due to their abundance in biological fluids, ease of uptake, and cellular content. Exosome use in diagnosis, prognosis, and in establishing treatment regimens has enormous potential to revolutionize patient care.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)386-394
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Biomedical Research
Issue number5
StatePublished - 2017


  • Biomarker
  • Cancer
  • Exosomes
  • Metastasis
  • Microenvironment
  • Therapeutics
  • Tumor macro-environment

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology


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