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Minciacchi V.R.,Cedars Sinai Medical Center | Freeman M.R.,Cedars Sinai Medical Center | Freeman M.R.,The Urological Diseases Research Center | Di Vizio D.,Cedars Sinai Medical Center | Di Vizio D.,The Urological Diseases Research Center
Seminars in Cell and Developmental Biology | Year: 2015

Since their first description, extracellular vesicles (EVs) have been the topic of avid study in a variety of physiologic contexts and are now thought to play an important role in cancer. The state of knowledge on biogenesis, molecular content and horizontal communication of diverse types of cancer EVs has expanded considerably in recent years. As a consequence, a plethora of information about EV composition and molecular function has emerged, along with the notion that cancer cells rely on these particles to invade tissues and propagate oncogenic signals at distance. The number of in vivo studies, designed to achieve a deeper understanding of the extent to which EV biology can be applied to clinically relevant settings, is rapidly growing. This review summarizes recent studies on cancer-derived EV functions, with an overview about biogenesis and molecular cargo of exosomes, microvesicles and large oncosomes. We also discuss current challenges and emerging technologies that might improve EV detection in various biological systems. Further studies on the functional role of EVs in specific steps of cancer formation and progression will expand our understanding of the diversity of paracrine signaling mechanisms in malignant growth. © 2015 Elsevier Ltd.

Solomon K.R.,The Urological Diseases Research Center | Solomon K.R.,Harvard University | Freeman M.R.,The Urological Diseases Research Center | Freeman M.R.,Harvard University
Urologic Clinics of North America | Year: 2011

Research into the role of cholesterol and prostate disease has been ongoing for many years, but our mechanistic and translational understanding is still poor. Recent evidence indicates that cholesterol-lowering drugs reduce the risk of aggressive prostate cancer. This article reviews the literature on the relationship between circulating cholesterol and prostate cancer. The data strongly point to hypercholesterolemia as a risk factor for prostate cancer progression and suggest clinical opportunities for the use of cholesterol-lowering therapies to alter disease course. © 2011 Elsevier Inc.

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