Extracellular vesicles (EVs) are cell-secreted vesicles that range from 30-2000 nm in size. These vesicles are secreted by both normal and neoplastic cells. Physiologically, EVs serve multiple critical biologic functions, including cellular remodeling, intracellular communication, modulation of the tumor microenvironment and regulation of immune function. Because EVs contain genetic and proteomic contents that reflect the cell of origin, it is possible to detect tumor-specific material in EVs secreted by cancer cells. Importantly, EVs secreted by cancer cells transgress anatomic compartments and can be detected in the blood, cerebrospinal fluid, and other biofluids of cancer patients. In this context, there is a growing interest in analyzing EVs from the biofluid of cancer patients as a means of disease diagnosis and therapeutic monitoring. In this article, we review the development of EVs as a diagnostic platform for the most common form of brain cancer, glioblastoma, discuss potential clinical translational opportunities and identify the central challenges associated with future clinical applications.
- extracellular vesicle