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Small Extracellular Vesicles: Non-negligible Vesicles in Tumor Progression, Diagnosis, and Therapy
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  • Xinru Zhou,
  • Yin Jia,
  • Chuanbin Mao,
  • Shanrong Liu
Xinru Zhou
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Chuanbin Mao
University of Oklahoma

Corresponding Author:[email protected]

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Shanrong Liu
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Small extracellular vesicles (sEVs) such as exosomes are nanoscale membranous particles (<200 nm) that have emerged as crucial targets for liquid biopsy and as promising drug delivery vehicles. They play a significant role in tumor progression as intercellular messengers. They can serve as biomarkers for tumor diagnosis and as drug carriers for cancer treatment. This article reviews recent studies on sEVs in oncology and explores their potential as biomarkers and drug delivery vehicles. Following tumorigenesis, sEVs in the tumor microenvironment (TME) and circulatory system undergo modifications to regulate various events in the TME, including angiogenesis, epithelial-mesenchymal transition (EMT), and tumor immunity, with either pro- or anti-tumor effects. sEVs have been investigated for use as diagnostic and prognostic biomarkers for a variety of tumors, including lung cancer, melanoma, breast cancer, prostate cancer, and hepatocellular carcinoma. sEVs can be used for cancer therapy by packaging drugs or proteins into them through pre- and post-isolation modification techniques. The clinical trials of sEVs as biomarkers and drug carriers are also summarized. Finally, the challenges in the use of sEVs are described and the possible approaches to tackling them are suggested. Overall, sEVs will advance the precision cancer medicine and has shown great potential in clinical applications.