J Cancer 2016; 7(9):1081-1087. doi:10.7150/jca.14866 This issue
1. Scientific Research Center, Shanghai Public Health Clinical Center, 2901 Caolang Road, Jinshan District, Shanghai 201508, China;
2. Departments of Epidemiology, The University of Texas M.D. Anderson Cancer Center, Houston, TX 770030, USA.
Exosomes, as a subset of extracellular vesicles, function as a mode of intercellular communication and molecular transfer, and facilitate the direct extracellular transfer of proteins, lipids, and miRNAs/mRNAs/DNAs between cells. Cancers have adapted exosomes and related microvesicles as a pathway that can suppress the immune system and establish a fertile local and distant environment to support neoplastic growth, invasion, and metastasis; these tumor-derived exosomes affect immunoregulation mechanisms, including immune activation and immune suppression. Immune cell-derived exosomes can modulate the immune response in cancer, which supports the belief that these membranous vesicles are immunotherapeutic reagents. In this review, we discuss the recent advances in the cancer immunotherapy, roles of exosomes in cancer, immunoregulation of tumor-derived exosomes, and immunomodulation by immune cell-derived exosomes. The topics covered here highlight novel insights into the development of efficient exosome-based cancer vaccines for cancer therapeutic intervention.
Keywords: Exosomes, cancer, immunoregulation, therapeutic intervention