Cancer extracellular vesicles, tumoroid models, and tumor microenvironment

Takanori Eguchi, Mona Sheta, Masanori Fujii, Stuart K. Calderwood

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

19 Citations (Scopus)


Cancer extracellular vesicles (EVs), or exosomes, promote tumor progression through enhancing tumor growth, initiating epithelial-to-mesenchymal transition, remodeling the tumor microenvironment, and preparing metastatic niches. Three-dimensionally (3D) cultured tumoroids / spheroids aim to reproduce some aspects of tumor behavior in vitro and show increased cancer stem cell properties. These properties are transferred to their EVs that promote tumor growth. Moreover, recent tumoroid models can be furnished with aspects of the tumor microenvironment, such as vasculature, hypoxia, and extracellular matrix. This review summarizes tumor tissue culture and engineering platforms compatible with EV research. For example, the combination experiments of 3D-tumoroids and EVs have revealed multifunctional proteins loaded in EVs, such as metalloproteinases and heat shock proteins. EVs or exosomes are able to transfer their cargo molecules to recipient cells, whose fates are often largely altered. In addition, the review summarizes approaches to EV labeling technology using fluorescence and luciferase, useful for studies on EV-mediated intercellular communication, biodistribution, and metastatic niche formation.

Original languageEnglish
JournalSeminars in Cancer Biology
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 2022


  • 3D tumoroid models
  • Cancer stem cells
  • Exosome
  • Extracellular vesicles
  • Metastatic niche
  • Tumor microenvironment

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cancer Research


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