Despite the numerous conventional and alternative and complementary treatment options available for cancer the medical community continues to search for safer and more effective treatments.
In recent year’s research on the pathological and therapeutic roles of exosomes has greatly increased. Researchers now recognize that exosomes play a significant role in pathology of many diseases and regulate numerous physiological processes including immune surveillance, tissue repair, inflammation, etc.
Exosomes are vesicles used for cell-to-cell communication and are considered to be responsible for the therapeutic effects of stem cells. They contain signaling molecules including mRNA, miRNA, various proteins and growth factors which influence the function and behavior of nearby or distant target cells.
In addition to the number of therapeutic properties exosomes have been shown to have, emerging research suggests that due to their role in transporting signals between cells, exosomes could be used as a vehicle for drug delivery and vaccine therapy in cancer.
The recently published review article entitled “Exosomes as Drug Delivery Vehicles for Cancer Treatment” summarizes recent developments in the emerging field of exosomes therapy and highlights its potential for drug delivery in cancer treatment.
In addition to this review article, many other publications have elucidated the potential role of exosomes in cancer treatment. See below for a short list of recently published review articles.
- Targeted cancer therapy using engineered exosome as a natural drug delivery vehicle
- Extracellular vesicle-based drug delivery systems for cancer treatment
- Recent advancements in the use of exosomes as drug delivery systems
- A comprehensive overview of exosomes as drug delivery vehicles — Endogenous nanocarriers for targeted cancer therapy
Aside from review articles discussing the science and rationale behind using exosomes in cancer treatment a small number of early phase human clinical trials have been published. These trials have demonstrated that exosome therapy is feasible and safe in the treatment of cancer and that larger, later phase studies are needed to demonstrate efficacy. See the links below to read a brief summary of these early phase trials.
- Exosomes for Vaccine Therapy in Human Advanced Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer
- Exosomes for Vaccine Therapy in Human Metastatic Melanoma