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Extracellular vesicles (EVs), including exosomes, microvesicles, and apoptotic bodies, are released by almost all cell types, including tumour cells. Through transfer of their molecular contents, EVs are capable of altering the function of recipient cells. Increasing evidence suggests a key role for EV mediated intercellular communication in a variety of cellular processes involved in tumour development and progression, including immune suppression, angiogenesis, and metastasis. Aspects of EV biogenesis or function are therefore increasingly being considered as targets for anticancer therapy. Here, we summarise the current knowledge on the contributions of EVs to cancer pathogenesis and discuss novel therapeutic strategies to target EVs to prevent tumour growth and spread. © 2014 Elsevier Ltd.

Original publication




Journal article


Trends in Molecular Medicine

Publication Date





385 - 393