Wide exploration of noninvasive tumor/cancer biomarkers has shed light on
clinical diagnosis. However, many under-investigated biomarkers showed limited
application potency due to low sensitivity and specificity, while extracellular vehicles
(EVs) were gradually recognized as promising candidates. EVs are small vesicles
transporting bioactive cargos between cells in multiple physiological processes and also
in tumor/cancer pathogenesis. This review aimed to offer recent studies of EVs on
structure, classification, physiological functions, as well as changes in tumor initiation
and progression. Furthermore, we focused on advances of EVs and/or EV-related
substances in cancer diagnosis, and summarized ongoing studies of promising
candidates for future investigations.
Keywords: Extracellular vesicle, cancer diagnosis, biomarker, exosome, tumor microenvironment, microvesicles.
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