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Extracellular vesicle isolation, purification and evaluation in cancer diagnosis

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  21 October 2022

Keywan Mortezaee*
Department of Anatomy, School of Medicine, Kurdistan University of Medical Sciences, Sanandaj, Iran
Jamal Majidpoor
Department of Anatomy, School of Medicine, Infectious Diseases Research Center, Gonabad University of Medical Sciences, Gonabad, Iran
Fardin Fathi*
Department of Anatomy, School of Medicine, Kurdistan University of Medical Sciences, Sanandaj, Iran
Authors for correspondence: Keywan Mortezaee, E-mail:; Fardin Fathi, E-mail:
Authors for correspondence: Keywan Mortezaee, E-mail:; Fardin Fathi, E-mail:


Strategies for non-invasive biomarker discovery in early detection of cancer are an urgent need. Extracellular vesicles (EVs) have generated increasing attention from the scientific community and are under intensive investigations due to their unique biological profiles and their non-invasive nature. EVs are membrane-enclosed vesicles with variable sizes and function. Such vesicles are actively secreted from multiple cell types and are considered as key vehicles for inter-cellular communications and signalling. The stability and potential to easily cross biological barriers enable EVs for exerting durable effects on target cells. These along with easy access to such vesicles, the consistent secretion from tumour during all stages of tumorigenesis and their content providing a reservoir of molecules as well as mirroring the identity of the cell of origin are virtues that have made EVs appealing to be assessed in liquid biopsy approaches and for using as a promising resource of biomarkers in cancer diagnosis and therapy and monitoring targeted cancer therapy. Early detection of EVs will guide time-scheduled personalised therapy. Surveying reliable and sensitive methods for rapid isolation of EVs from biofluids, the purity of isolated vesicles and their molecular profiling and marker specification for clinical translation in patients with cancer are issues in the area and the hot topics of many recent studies. Here, the focus is over methods for EV isolation and stratification for digging more information about liquid biopsy-based diagnosis. Extending knowledge regarding EV-based strategies is a key to validate independent patient follow-up for cancer diagnosis at early stages and inspecting the efficacy of therapeutics.

Copyright © The Author(s), 2022. Published by Cambridge University Press

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