Exosomes are proving highly versatile. Researchers are aiming to exploit their considerable talents for therapeutic cargo delivery to create a new class of drugs. Perhaps most exciting is their potential to enable an emerging spectrum of RNA-based therapies.
Chemotherapy, using chemicals that are particularly toxic to rapidly dividing cancer cells, is the most commonly used cancer treatment, often in combination with surgery and/or radiotherapy. However, the side effects of chemotherapy are severe. Exosomes may offer a way of better targeting chemotherapy to cancer cells.
Biological discovery and crisis can both give rise to entirely new fields of study. In this article, we assess the impact of Covid on research output in 2020 and the rise of technologies such as CRISPR and cell reprogramming that have shaped the last 20 years.
Many cancers have developed an efficient way of blocking the body’s natural immune response by overexpressing a protein called programmed death ligand-1 (PD-L1). Antibodies that neutralize PD-L1 are highly effective in some patients. Exosome-based diagnostics can predict responders.
Times of crisis can precipitate rapid technological development and the Covid-19 crisis is presenting an opportunity for new therapeutic modalities. Pfizer/BioNTech and Moderna’s Covid vaccines which both rely on RNA have been ground-breaking. Could Covid-19 also clear the path for the first exosome therapeutics?