from GenomeWeb –
The National Institutes of Health announced that it is seeking grant applications for projects investigating the potential of exosomes and extracellular vesicles (EVs), as well as their cargo, as biomarkers for cancer risk assessment, detection, diagnosis, and prognosis.
Cancer cells are known to release more exosomes than normal cells, and data indicate that tumor-secreted exosomes can promote tumor progression, survival, invasion, and angiogenesis. As such, the analysis of exosomes isolated from the blood or other body fluids of cancer patients could provide insight on cancer cell biology and serve as non-invasive predictive biomarkers for early detection, progression, and metastasis, the NIH said.
However, the clinical use of exosomes and other EVs is hampered by a lack of robust and reproducible methods for isolating a pure vesicular population. “There is a lack of clear consensus for an optimal method of isolation of pure exosomal population that is devoid of contamination with similar sized microvesicles of different origins,” the agency noted