Therapeutic potential of CAR-T cell-derived exosomes: a cell-free modality for targeted cancer therapy

Xiang-Jun Tang, Xu-Yong Sun, Kuan-Ming Huang, Li Zhang, Zhuo-Shun Yang, Dan-Dan Zou, Bin Wang, Garth L. Warnock, Long-Jun Dai _ and Jie Luo

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Oncotarget. 2015; 6:44179-44190. https://doi.org/10.18632/oncotarget.6175

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Xiang-Jun Tang1,*, Xu-Yong Sun2,*, Kuan-Ming Huang1,*, Li Zhang1, Zhuo-Shun Yang1, Dan-Dan Zou1, Bin Wang1,3, Garth L. Warnock4, Long-Jun Dai1,4 and Jie Luo1

1 Department of Neurosurgery, Taihe Hospital, Hubei University of Medicine, Shiyan, China

2 Guangxi Key Laboratory for Transplantation Medicine, Institute of Transplant Medicine, 303 Hospital of People’s Liberation Army, Nanning, China

3 The Biomedical Research Center, University of British Columbia, Vancouver, Canada

4 Department of Surgery, University of British Columbia, Vancouver, Canada

* These authors have contributed equally to this work

Correspondence to:

Long-Jun Dai, email:

Jie Luo, email:

Keywords: immunotherapy, chimeric antigen receptor (CAR), exosomes, cancer therapy, extracellular vesicles

Received: August 12, 2015 Accepted: October 06, 2015 Published: October 19, 2015


Chimeric antigen receptor (CAR)-based T-cell adoptive immunotherapy is a distinctively promising therapy for cancer. The engineering of CARs into T cells provides T cells with tumor-targeting capabilities and intensifies their cytotoxic activity through stimulated cell expansion and enhanced cytokine production. As a novel and potent therapeutic modality, there exists some uncontrollable processes which are the potential sources of adverse events. As an extension of this impactful modality, CAR-T cell-derived exosomes may substitute CAR-T cells to act as ultimate attackers, thereby overcoming some limitations. Exosomes retain most characteristics of parent cells and play an essential role in intercellular communications via transmitting their cargo to recipient cells. The application of CAR-T cell-derived exosomes will make this cell-based therapy more clinically controllable as it also provides a cell-free platform to diversify anticancer mediators, which responds effectively to the complexity and volatility of cancer. It is believed that the appropriate application of both cellular and exosomal platforms will make this effective treatment more practicable.

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