Molecular actions of exosomes and their theragnostics in colorectal cancer: current findings and limitations

Wen Chun Lin, Chun Chi Lin, Yen Yu Lin, Wen Hao Yang, Yuh Ching Twu, Hao Wei Teng, Wei-Lun Hwang*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


Extracellular vesicles (EVs) are cell-released, membranous structures essential for intercellular communication. The biochemical compositions and physiological impacts of exosomes, lipid-bound, endosomal origin EVs, have been focused on, especially on the tumor-host interactions in a defined tumor microenvironment (TME). Despite recent progress in targeted therapy and cancer immunotherapy in colorectal cancer (CRC), cancer patients still suffer from distal metastasis and tumor relapse, suggesting unmet needs for biomarkers directing therapeutic interventions and predicting treatment responsiveness. As exosomes are indispensable for intercellular communication and high exosome abundance makes them feasible biomarker molecules, this review discusses exosome heterogeneity and how exosomes orchestrate the interplay among tumor cells, cancer stem cells (CSCs) and host cells, including stromal cells, endothelial cells and immunocytes, in the CRC TME. This review also discusses mechanisms for loading exosomal contents and potential exosomal DNA, RNA and protein biomarkers for early CRC detection. Finally, we summarize the diagnostic and therapeutic exosomes in clinical trials. We envision that detecting and targeting cancer-specific exosomes could provide therapeutic advances in developing personalized cancer medicine.

Original languageEnglish
JournalCellular oncology (Dordrecht)
StateAccepted/In press - 2022


  • Cancer Biomarker
  • Colorectal Cancer
  • Extracellular Vesicles
  • Tumor Heterogeneity
  • Tumor Microenvironment


Dive into the research topics of 'Molecular actions of exosomes and their theragnostics in colorectal cancer: current findings and limitations'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this