Extracellular vesicles to diagnose and treat cancer

BJMO - volume 11, issue 3, may 2017

J. Tulkens , L. Lippens PhD, G. Vergauwen , S. Jeurissen MD, B. Dhondt MD, H. Denys MD, PhD, A. Hendrix PhD


Extracellular vesicles transfer lipids, nucleic acids and membrane-associated as well as intraluminal proteins between cells to maintain homeostasis and regulate physiological functions. This communication system is hijacked in cancer. Tumour-derived extracellular vesicles enter the circulation and carry targeting motifs and unique messages for cell-type specific instruction of distant ecosystems to foster metastasis. In this review we focus on how extracellular vesicles provide new opportunities for the diagnosis and treatment of cancer. Quantification and characterisation of tumour-derived extracellular vesicles obtained by liquid biopsy may enable the diagnosis and prognosis of cancer patients. Interference with extracellular vesicle biogenesis and implementation of extracellular vesicles as cancer vaccines or drug delivery vehicles opens up therapeutic potential to treat cancer.

(BELG J MED ONCOL 2017;11(3):92–105)

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Oligometastatic ovarian cancer successfully treated with stereotactic radiotherapy

BJMO - volume 8, issue 3, july 2014

S. Jeurissen MD, S. Bral MD, PhD, K. Vandecasteele MD, PhD, G. De Meerleer MD, PhD, H. Denys MD, PhD

A 53-year old woman presented with an ovarian cancer, FIGO stage IIIc, for which she received a (suboptimal) debulking. Chemotherapy was started, consisting of three-weekly carboplatin-paclitaxel. After four cycles, an interval-debulking was done, which revealed one positive lymph node (out of 21) located interaortocaval. Chemotherapy was resumed, until seven cycles. She had a complete remission, but after four years, she developed positive mediastinal and interaortocaval lymph nodes. She was treated with stereotactic radiotherapy, which resulted in resolution of the lesions and normalisation of the tumour marker. She has no signs of relapse after nearly two years.

This case illustrates that radiotherapy can be an important treatment option in selected patients with oligometastases.

(BELG J MED ONCOL 2014;8(3):87–90)

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