Exosomes possess an exceptional ability to target specific cells and deliver a highly heterogenous cargo reflective of the type and physiological/pathological conditions of the cell that produced them. Both exosomes and interleukins are critical cellular messengers for the modulation of cellular functions. In recent years, the important role that interleukins within circulating exosomes play in disease and normal tissue homeostasis has become clear.
Great strides have been made in recent years in treating some cancers, such as melanoma. But despite huge efforts, little progress has been made in improving the odds for pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma (PDAC). 95% of individuals receiving a diagnosis of PDAC survive less than 18 months. It is the worst prognosis of any cancer, making it set to be the second biggest cause of cancer mortality by 2030. Why is PDAC so difficult to treat and what strategies are being developed?
Many of the exosomes generated within the tumour microenvironment (TME) are not actually produced by cancer cells. Rather, they are produced by cancer-associated stromal cells and infiltrating immune cells. The role of exosomes generated by immune cells within the TME and their potential for therapeutic use is the focus of many research teams.
Extracellular proteins and glycosaminoglycans (GAGs) within the extracellular matrix (ECM) undergo limited enzymatic cleavage to release fragments which exert biological activities that are distinct from their full-length progenitors. These fragments regulate a range of processes including angiogenesis, inflammation, wound healing and fibrosis and have been implicated in many diseases including neurodegeneration and cancer.