Exploring small extracellular vesicles for precision medicine in prostate cancer

Matteo Giulietti, Matteo Santoni, Alessia Cimadamore, Francesco Carrozza, Francesco Piva, Liang Cheng, Antonio Lopez-Beltran, Marina Scarpelli, Nicola Battelli, Rodolfo Montironi

Research output: Contribution to journalShort survey

8 Scopus citations


Tumor microenvironment constitutes a complex network in which tumor cells communicate among them and with stromal and immune cells. It has been shown that cancer cells are able to exchange genetic materials through small extracellular vesicles (EVs), a heterogeneous group of vesicles with different size and shape, cargo content, and function. The importance to investigate populations of circulating EVs would be of great importance as prostate cancer (PCa) biomarkers. In several neoplasms as well as in PCa, nanometer-sized EVs of endosomal origin are implicated in supporting tumor growth and metastatic spread by both altering local stroma cells and creating a protumor environment that favors the formation of pre-metastatic niches. Several techniques are applicable for the isolation and analysis of PCa-derived small EVs and are illustrated in this article. Due to the high sensitivity and specificity of these techniques, small EVs have become ideal candidates for early diagnosis. Moreover, we discuss the role of small EVs during PCa carcinogenesis, as well as in modulating the development of drug resistance to hormonal therapy and chemotherapy, thus underlining the potential of EV-tailored strategies in PCa patients.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number221
JournalFrontiers in Oncology
Issue numberJUN
StatePublished - Jun 13 2018


  • Drug resistance
  • Prostate cancer
  • Small extracellular vesicles
  • Tumor biomarkers
  • Tumor microenvironment

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Cancer Research

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  • Cite this

    Giulietti, M., Santoni, M., Cimadamore, A., Carrozza, F., Piva, F., Cheng, L., Lopez-Beltran, A., Scarpelli, M., Battelli, N., & Montironi, R. (2018). Exploring small extracellular vesicles for precision medicine in prostate cancer. Frontiers in Oncology, 8(JUN), [221]. https://doi.org/10.3389/fonc.2018.00221