About this Research Topic
Exosomes are a subtype of vesicles with a diameter of 40-150 nm secreted from the cells and reside in both extracellular spaces and circulation. The contents of the exosomes, including nucleic acids, proteins, and lipids, can act as vital intercellular communicators. With the advancement in high-throughput methodologies in genomics and proteomics, exosomes have been proven as crucial mediators in proximal and distal communications in both physiology and pathology. Multiple lines of evidence indicated that altered exosomes are closely associated with the initiation, progression, therapeutic resistance, and recurrence of various cancers. Since the circulating exosomes released from tumor cells appear to be cancer type-specific, exosomes could be used as novel, non-invasive, highly reliable, and real-time specific biomarkers for cancer diagnosis and prognosis. Given that the cancer-derived exosomes are capable of altering the tumor microenvironment, weakening anti-tumor immunity, facilitating immune escape, targeting tumor-derived exosomes could be a novel therapeutic strategy for cancer treatment. Additionally, based on the extremely high specificity that exosomes interact with and deliver their cargos to the recipient cells, exosomes could be used as drug carriers to target a desirable subpopulation of cells with high efficiency/specificity and low toxicity. However, although exosomes possess such great potentials, exosome biology is still in its infancy and there are still many challenges to turn these potentials into reality, including the establishment of a standardized procedure for exosome isolation and translation of the findings in basic science to the clinical settings. Therefore, more studies to improve our understanding of exosome biology is the key to fully achieve the exosome potentials.
This Research Topic aims to promote investigations focusing on the molecular and cellular mechanisms in exosome biology, the development of exosomes as reliable biomarkers in cancer diagnosis and prognosis, and the application of exosomes as cancer therapeutic targets. We welcome submissions of Original Research and Review articles focusing on the following aspects:
• The mechanisms in exosome-mediated cancer initiation and progression including metastasis and therapeutic resistance.
• The effect of exosomes on tumor microenvironment and tumor immunity.
• The development of exosomes as biomarkers in cancer diagnosis and prognosis.
• Application of exosomes as therapeutic strategies in cancer treatment.
Keywords: Exosomes, Cancer, Biomarker, Therapeutic resistance, Tumor immunity, Targeted therapy, Diagnosis, Prognosis
Important Note: All contributions to this Research Topic must be within the scope of the section and journal to which they are submitted, as defined in their mission statements. Frontiers reserves the right to guide an out-of-scope manuscript to a more suitable section or journal at any stage of peer review.