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Extracellular vesicles as novel uro-oncology biomarkers: insights toward clinical applications.

PURPOSE OF REVIEW: We discussed the challenges associated with the clinical application of extracellular vesicles and summarized their potential impact on oncological clinical practice in urology.

RECENT FINDINGS: Despite extensive research on extracellular vesicles, their clinical applications remain limited; this is likely to be because of small study cohorts, a lack of large-scale analyses, and the impact of variable extraction and storage methods on analysis outcomes. However, promising results have emerged from clinical trials targeting urinary extracellular vesicles in prostate cancer using ExoDx Prostate Test. The ExoDx Prostate Test has demonstrated its efficacy in diagnosing prostate cancer in previous studies and is the only FDA-approved kit for this purpose. Moreover, recent trials have investigated the use of the ExoDx Prostate Test to determine the optimal timing for biopsies in prostate cancer patients undergoing active surveillance.

SUMMARY: We summarized recent studies on the potential of extracellular vesicles in the management of urological cancers. Particularly, the diagnosis of prostate cancer using the ExoDx Prostate Test has yielded positive results in several clinical trials. Additionally, while there are other studies suggesting its efficacy, most of these are based on retrospective analyses. These findings warrant further large-scale studies to optimize extracellular vesicle-based diagnostic and monitoring strategies. Although further research is required, extracellular vesicles would be attractive for early detection and surveillance.

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