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Review

Extracellular Vesicles and Their Current Role in Cancer Immunotherapy

1
Department of Applied Science and Technology, Politecnico di Torino, Corso Duca degli Abruzzi 24, 10129 Turin, Italy
2
Grup d’Enginyeria de Materials (Gemat), Institut Químic de Sarrià (IQS), Universitat Ramon Llull (URL), Via Augusta 390, 08017 Barcelona, Spain
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editors: Farrukh Aqil and Ramesh Chandra Gupta
Cancers 2021, 13(9), 2280; https://doi.org/10.3390/cancers13092280
Received: 12 April 2021 / Revised: 3 May 2021 / Accepted: 7 May 2021 / Published: 10 May 2021
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Exosomes in Cancers Therapy)
In recent years, immunotherapy has shown great advancement, becoming a powerful tool to combat cancer. In this context, the use of biologically derived vesicles has also acquired importance for cancer immunotherapy. Extracellular vesicles are thus proposed to transport molecules able to trigger an immune response and thus fight cancer cells. As a particular immunotherapeutic approach, a new technique also consists in the exploitation of extracellular vesicles as new cancer vaccines. The present review provides basic notions on cancer immunotherapy and describes several clinical trials in which therapeutic anticancer vaccines are tested. In particular, the potential of extracellular vesicles-based therapeutic vaccines in the treatment of cancer patients is highlighted, even with advanced stage-cancer. A focus on the clinical studies, already completed or still in progress, is offered and a systematic collection and reorganization of the present literature on this topic is proposed to the reader.
Extracellular vesicles (EVs) are natural particles formed by the lipid bilayer and released from almost all cell types to the extracellular environment both under physiological conditions and in presence of a disease. EVs are involved in many biological processes including intercellular communication, acting as natural carriers in the transfer of various biomolecules such as DNA, various RNA types, proteins and different phospholipids. Thanks to their transfer and targeting abilities, they can be employed in drug and gene delivery and have been proposed for the treatment of different diseases, including cancer. Recently, the use of EVs as biological carriers has also been extended to cancer immunotherapy. This new technique of cancer treatment involves the use of EVs to transport molecules capable of triggering an immune response to damage cancer cells. Several studies have analyzed the possibility of using EVs in new cancer vaccines, which represent a particular form of immunotherapy. In the literature there are only few publications that systematically group and collectively discuss these studies. Therefore, the purpose of this review is to illustrate and give a partial reorganization to what has been produced in the literature so far. We provide basic notions on cancer immunotherapy and describe some clinical trials in which therapeutic cancer vaccines are tested. We thus focus attention on the potential of EV-based therapeutic vaccines in the treatment of cancer patients, overviewing the clinically relevant trials, completed or still in progress, which open up new perspectives in the fight against cancer. View Full-Text
Keywords: extracellular vesicles; cancer vaccine; immunotherapy; drug delivery; gene delivery; surface funzionalization; nanoparticles extracellular vesicles; cancer vaccine; immunotherapy; drug delivery; gene delivery; surface funzionalization; nanoparticles
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MDPI and ACS Style

Giacobino, C.; Canta, M.; Fornaguera, C.; Borrós, S.; Cauda, V. Extracellular Vesicles and Their Current Role in Cancer Immunotherapy. Cancers 2021, 13, 2280. https://doi.org/10.3390/cancers13092280

AMA Style

Giacobino C, Canta M, Fornaguera C, Borrós S, Cauda V. Extracellular Vesicles and Their Current Role in Cancer Immunotherapy. Cancers. 2021; 13(9):2280. https://doi.org/10.3390/cancers13092280

Chicago/Turabian Style

Giacobino, Carla, Marta Canta, Cristina Fornaguera, Salvador Borrós, and Valentina Cauda. 2021. "Extracellular Vesicles and Their Current Role in Cancer Immunotherapy" Cancers 13, no. 9: 2280. https://doi.org/10.3390/cancers13092280

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