Potential diagnostic and therapeutic roles of exosomes in pancreatic cancer

Pancreatic cancer (PaCa) is considered an aggressive but still asymptomatic malignancy. Due to the lack of effective diagnostic markers, PaCa is often diagnosed during late metastatic stages. Besides surgical resection, no other treatment appears to be effective during earlier stages of the disease. Exosomes are related to a class of nanovesicles coated by a bilayer lipid membrane and enriched in protein, nucleic acid, and lipid contents. They are widely present in human body fluids, including blood, saliva, and pancreatic duct fluid, with functions in signal transduction and material transport. A large number of studies have suggested for a crucial role for exosomes in PaCa, which may be utilized to improve its future diagnosis and treatment, but the underlying molecular mechanisms as well as their potential clinical applications are largely unknown. Researchers at Sheng Jing Hospital discuss the current progress of the clinical applications related to exosomes in PaCa. Therefore, we presently provide some rationale for the potential value of exosomes in PaCa, thereby promoting putative applications in targeted PaCa treatment.

Zhao X, Ren Y, Lu Z. (2020) Potential diagnostic and therapeutic roles of exosomes in pancreatic cancer. Biochimica et Biophysica Acta (BBA) – Reviews on Cancer [online ahead of print]. [abstract]

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