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The role of exosomes in cancer-related programmed cell death.

Immunological Reviews 2023 November 11
Cancer arises from the growth and division of uncontrolled erroneous cells. Programmed cell death (PCD), or regulated cell death (RCD), includes natural processes that eliminate damaged or abnormal cells. Dysregulation of PCD is a hallmark of cancer, as cancer cells often evade cell death and continue to proliferate. Exosomes nanoscale extracellular vesicles secreted by different types of cells carrying a variety of molecules, including nucleic acids, proteins, and lipids, to have indispensable role in the communication between cells, and can influence various cellular processes, including PCD. Exosomes have been shown to modulate PCD in cancer cells by transferring pro- or antideath molecules to neighboring cells. Additionally, exosomes can facilitate the spread of PCD to surrounding cancer cells, making them promising in the treatment of various cancers. The exosomes' diagnostic potential in cancer is also an active area of research. Exosomes can be isolated from a wide range of bodily fluids and tissues, such as blood and urine, and can provide a noninvasive way to monitor cancer progression and treatment response. Furthermore, exosomes have also been employed as a delivery system for therapeutic agents. By engineering exosomes to carry drugs or other therapeutic molecules, they can be targeted specifically to cancer cells, reducing toxicity to healthy tissues. Here, we discussed exosomes in the diagnosis and prevention of cancers, tumor immunotherapy, and drug delivery, as well as in different types of PCD.

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