An international team, led by Dolores Di Vizio (photo), M.D., Ph.D., Associate Professor of Surgery, Pathology and Laboratory Medicine, and Biomedical Sciences at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles, California, has demonstrated, for the first time, the existence of a shared breast cancer-associated mRNA signature, as detected by whole transcriptome analysis (carried out by RNA-Seq) of two types of extracellular vesicles (EVs) circulating in the plasma of breast cancer patients versus controls. Such detection may prove useful as a tool for noninvasive diagnosis and monitoring of breast cancer, and perhaps other cancers as well. This new study is also the first to carry out global mRNA characterization on two different types of EVs (large oncosomes and exosomes). In addition, the work represents the first attempt to use expression data to determine what factors influence the abundance of different mRNAs in EVs, as demonstrated by co-first authors Andrew Conley, Ph.D., and Valentina Minciacchi, Ph.D.
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