Exosome: emerging biomarker in breast cancer

Yunlu Jia, Yongxia Chen, Qinchuan Wang, Ushani Jayasinghe, Xiao Luo, Qun Wei, Ji Wang, Hanchu Xiong, Cong Chen, Bin Xu, Wenxian Hu, Linbo Wang _, Wenhe Zhao and Jichun Zhou

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Oncotarget. 2017; 8:41717-41733. https://doi.org/10.18632/oncotarget.16684

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Yunlu Jia1,2, Yongxia Chen1,2, Qinchuan Wang1,2, Ushani Jayasinghe3, Xiao Luo4, Qun Wei1,2, Ji Wang1,2, Hanchu Xiong1,2, Cong Chen1,2, Bin Xu1,2, Wenxian Hu1,2, Linbo Wang1,2, Wenhe Zhao1,2 and Jichun Zhou1,2

1 Department of Surgical Oncology, Sir Run Run Shaw Hospital, Zhejiang University, Hangzhou, Zhejiang, China

2 Biomedical Research Center and Key Laboratory of Biotherapy of Zhejiang Province, Hangzhou, Zhejiang, China

3 Brown University, Providence, Rhode Island, USA

4 Department of Radiology, Second Affiliated Hospital, Zhejiang University, Hangzhou, Zhejiang, China

Correspondence to:

Linbo Wang, email:

Wenhe Zhao, email:

Jichun Zhou, email:

Keywords: breast cancer, exosome, metastasis, drug resistance, cancer therapy

Received: January 10, 2017 Accepted: March 10, 2017 Published: March 29, 2017


Exosomes are nano-sized membrane vesicles released by a variety of cell types, and are thought to play important roles in intercellular communications. In breast cancer, through horizontal transfer of various bioactive molecules, such as proteins and mRNAs, exosomes are emerging as local and systemic cell-to-cell mediators of oncogenic information and play an important role on cancer progression. This review outlines the current knowledge and concepts concerning the exosomes involvement in breast cancer pathogenesis (including tumor initiation, invasion and metastasis, angiogenesis, immune system modulation and tumor microenvironment) and cancer therapy resistance. Moreover, the potential use of exosomes as promising diagnostic and therapeutic biomarkers in breast cancer are also discussed.

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