Cancer-derived extracellular vesicles (EVs) play an important role in cancer progression and metastasis. They can be identified in biological fluids thus providing appealing candidates for novel circulating biomarkers. Studies designed to achieve a deeper understanding of the extent to which EVs propagate oncogenic signals and can be interrogated in clinically relevant settings are increasing. EVs are highly heterogeneous in size, function, biogenesis and mechanisms of communication with target cells. A greater molecular and functional characterization of the EV types that can be released from a given cancer cell will improve our knowledge of the mechanisms underlying cancer progression. Focus of this webinar is a novel EV population referred to as large oncosomes, which originate from the shedding of non-apoptotic membrane blebbing. This biological phenomenon is typical of amoeboid tumor cells with keen migratory abilities and high metastatic propensity. Recent studies demonstrate that large oncosomes are molecular and functional entities that can be distinguished from exosomes and possibly from other EV classes. Further studies on the functional role of large oncosomes and other EVs in specific steps of cancer formation and progression will expand our understanding of the diversity of paracrine signaling mechanisms in malignant growth and metastasis.
Upcoming Webinar – Diversity of Cancer-Derived Extracellular Vesicles