The study of extracellular vesicles (EVs) in cancer progression is a complex and rapidly evolving field. Whole categories of cellular interactions in cancer which were originally presumed to be due solely to soluble secreted molecules have now evolved to include membrane-enclosed extracellular vesicles (EVs), which include both exosomes and shed microvesicles (MVs), and can contain many of the same molecules as those secreted in soluble form but many different molecules as well. EVs released by cancer cells can transfer mRNA, miRNA, and proteins to different recipient cells within the tumor microenvironment, in both an autocrine and paracrine manner, causing a significant impact on signaling pathways, mRNA transcription, and protein expression. The transfer of EVs to target cells, in turn, supports cancer growth, immunosuppression, and metastasis formation. This review focuses exclusively on breast cancer EVs with an emphasis on breast cancer-derived exosomes, keeping in mind that breast cancer-derived EVs share some common physical properties with EVs of other cancers.
Green, T. M., Alpaugh, M. L., Barsky, S. H., Rappa, G., & Lorico, A. (2015). Breast cancer-derived extracellular vesicles: Characterization and contribution to the metastatic phenotype. BioMed Research International. Hindawi Publishing Corporation. https://doi.org/10.1155/2015/634865