The potential role of exosomes derived from ovarian cancer cells for diagnostic and therapeutic approaches

Changwon Yang, Hee Seung Kim, Gwonhwa Song, Whasun Lim

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

27 Citations (Scopus)


Most patients with ovarian cancer (OC) are diagnosed at the advanced stages due to the absence of appropriate early diagnostic markers. Thus, OC is a gynecological disease with a low-survival rate. Exosomes are extracellular vesicles that are widely being considered as mediators for the noninvasive diagnosis of OC. Exosomes are expected to aid in the effective diagnosis of OC because they carry components, such as RNAs, proteins, and lipids, the compositions of which vary depending on the pathological characteristics of the patient. In this review, we document the methods that have been developed to detect exosomes and their components in OC. We also assess the potential biomarkers contained in exosomes that could be clinically useful, such as proteins, microRNAs (miRNAs), long noncoding RNAs (lncRNAs), and phospholipids. Moreover, we described the role played by exosomes in the tumor microenvironment and in OC angiogenesis, migration, and tumor growth. Various types of cells in the tumor microenvironment, including macrophages, fibroblasts, and mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs), interact directly with exosomes and promote or inhibit the progression of OC. Therefore, we summarize the studies that have suggested a therapeutic approach to OC using exosomes. Collectively, understanding the mechanism of exosome-based OC progression would broaden our knowledge regarding the diagnosis and therapy of OC.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)21493-21503
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Cellular Physiology
Issue number12
Publication statusPublished - 2019 Dec

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This study was supported by a grant of the Korea Health Technology R&D Project through the Korea Health Industry Development Institute funded by the Ministry of Health & Welfare (grant number: HI17C0929) and the National Research Foundation of Korea (NRF) grant funded by the Ministry of Science and ICT (MSIT; No. 2018R1C1B6009048).


  • biomarker
  • exosome
  • microRNA
  • microenvironment
  • ovarian cancer cells

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physiology
  • Clinical Biochemistry
  • Cell Biology


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