Roles of Stem-Cell-Derived Exosomes in Stromal Remodeling, Tumor Progression, and Cancer Immunotherapy

A recent open-access report, by two scientists from the University of Sao Paulo in Brazil, reviews the potential of stem-cell-derived exosomes in the context of stromal remodeling and the ability of these exosomes to generate cancer-initiating cells in a tumor niche by inducing morphologic and functional differentiation of normal fibroblasts into tumor-initiating fibroblasts. The article also discusses the immunosuppressive potential of stem-cell-derived exosomes in cancer immunotherapy and prospective applications of such exosomes in cell-free therapies in future translational medicine. The first author Farah Fatima, Ph.D., and senior author Muhammad Nalwaz, Ph.D., noted, in their article abstract, that “stem cells are known to maintain stemness at least in part through secreted factors that promote stem-like phenotypes in resident cells. Accumulating evidence has clarified that stem cells release nano-vesicles, known as exosomes, which may serve as mediators of cell-to-cell communication and may potentially transmit stem cell phenotypes to recipient cells, facilitating stem cell maintenance, differentiation, self-renewal, and repair. It has become apparent that stem cell-derived exosomes mediate interactions among stromal elements, promote genetic instability in recipient cells, and induce malignant transformation.” The article was published in the Chinese Journal of Cancer, online on September 13, 2015, and in print in the December 2015 issue of the journal. The article is titled “Stem Cell-Derived Exosomes: Roles in Stromal Remodeling, Tumor Progression, and Cancer Immunotherapy.” [Chinese Journal of Cancer artice]
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