John Theurer Cancer Center at Hackensack University Medical Center Review Examines Exosomes as Source of Circulating Tumor Biomarkers

Exosomes produced by cancer cells evaluated for feasibility and potential as a minimally invasive liquid biopsy

Cancer Biomarker Studies

Two-thirds of cancer diagnoses and cancer deaths have no screening test. Exosomes, epigenetics signatures and cfDNA might represent opportunities for earlier detection. A review in Cancers, with contributions from John Theurer Cancer Center investigators at Hackensack University Medical Center, examined exosomes, which cancer cells produce and release into circulation as a potential source of early detection.

  • Evaluation of the biogenesis of such exosomes to understand how cancer cells early on shed these exosomes to communicate and lay their journey in the microenvironment.
  • These molecular cargos might be suitable in the future as a minimally invasive source of liquid biopsy in the blood but also other secretions, potentially exhaled breath condensate, urine, sweat, saliva and cerebral spinal fluid.
  • The review also discusses the current global and targeted techniques for exosomes purification as well as opportunities to apply these exosomes as potential highly sensitive and specific biomarkers for cancer.

Cancer cells increase production and release of exosomes in the circulation to deliver biologically active compounds that can reprogram recipient cells, which potentially represent a valuable source of biomarkers. The review covers the genomic, transcriptomic and proteomic biomarker aspects of their cargo, which offer a remote snapshot of tumor cell by/bio-products.

This publication also provides an explanation of how exosomes represent a unique, purifiable source of circulating tumor biomarkers. The detailed description of their biogenesis and their content provides insight clues on why and how they hold both an intriguing and promising future as a minimally invasive source of liquid biopsy.

Evaluation of technological developments and current limitations offers a realistic view of the potential application of exosome biomarkers in the detection and monitoring of human cancers.

Learn more about innovations in cancer treatments at John Theurer Cancer Center at Hackensack University Medical Center.

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