Cancer cells do not grow as an isolated homogeneous mass; tumours are, in fact, complex and
heterogeneous collections of cancer and surrounding stromal cells, collectively termed the tumour
microenvironment. The interaction between cancer cells and stromal cells in the tumour
microenvironment has emerged as a key concept in the regulation of cancer progression.
Understanding the intercellular dialogue in the tumour microenvironment is therefore an important
goal. One aspect of this dialogue which has not been appreciated until recently is the role of
extracellular vesicles (EVs). EVs are small vesicles released by cells under both normal and
pathological conditions; they can transfer biological molecules between cells leading to changes in
phenotype. EVs have emerged as important regulators of biological processes and can be
dysregulated in diseases such as cancer; rapidly growing interest in their biology and therapeutic
potential led to the Royal Society hosting a Scientific Meeting to explore the roles of EVs in the
tumour microenvironment. This cross-disciplinary meeting explored examples of how aberrant
cross-talk between tumour and stromal cells can promote cancer progression, and how such
signalling can be targeted for diagnostic, prognostic and therapeutic benefit. In this review, and the special edition of Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B that follows, we will provide an overview of the content and outcomes of this exciting meeting.
Pink, Ryan C.
Elmusrati, Areeg A.Lambert, DavidCarter, David R.F.
Faculty of Health and Life Sciences\Department of Biological and Medical Sciences
Year of publication: 2017Date of RADAR deposit: 2017-08-30
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