Tumor-derived exosomes (TEX) are emerging as critical components of an intercellular information network between the tumor and the host. The tumor escapes from the host immune system by using a variety of mechanisms designed to impair or eliminate anti-tumor immunity. TEX carrying a cargo of immunoinhibitory molecules and factors represent one such mechanism. TEX, which are present in all body fluids of cancer patients, deliver negative molecular or genetic signals to immune cells re-programming their functions. Although TEX can also stimulate immune activity, in the microenvironments dominated by the tumor, TEX tend to mediate immune suppression thus promoting tumor progression. The TEX content, in part resembling that of the parent cell, may serve as a source of cancer biomarkers. TEX also interfere with immune therapies. A better understanding of TEX and their contribution to cancer progression and cancer patients’ response to immune therapies represents a challenging new field of investigation.
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