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Tumour derived exosomes and cancer cachexia: a review


Article: The Contribution of Tumor Derived Exosomes to Cancer Cachexia

Exosomes are extracellular vesicles that contain cargo such as proteins, lipids, nucleic acids and more. Their function is to alter cell signalling in the cell it releases its cargo into. For example, exosomes have been seen to alter muscle and adipose tissue metabolism. This has led to the thought that they may be involved in cancer cachexia. Inhibiting tumour derived exosome release therefore may improve survival and cancer cachexia in patients. Specifically, tumour derived exosome micro-RNAs have been associated with muscle wasting and tumour presence. Furthermore, they may package inflammatory cytokines. This could play a causal role in cancer cachexia as increase cytokine circulation is thought to precede the loss of appetite in cachexia, holding a causal role in the disease progression.

This review by Pitzer CR et al. aimed to summarise the potential involvement of tumour derived exosomes in cancer cachexia.

Key learnings

Tumour derived exosomes can contribute to factors such as inflammation, tumour cell apoptosis resistance, lipolysis, chemotherapy resistance, muscle cell atrophy and more. This may relate such exosomes to the progression of cancer cachexia.

Reviewed by: Z. Beketova

Authors: Pitzer CR, Paez HG & Alway SE

Published in: Cells 2023

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