The 7th Annual “American Society For Exosomes and Microvesicles” meeting held at Pacific Beach, California last week brought together experts and thought leaders in the area of extracellular vesicles (EV) biology. The overlapping theme was sharing the recent progress in scientific understanding of mechanisms related to EVs and potential use of EVs for diagnostic and therapeutic applications.
Interesting talks around cancer metastasis elegantly displayed the promise of EVs for cancer diagnosis and monitoring tumorigenesis. The need to elucidate the molecular basis for high production of exosome in cancer cells was stressed, with the potential strategies to target molecules specific for exosome productions at the center of cancer therapy.
The need to explore disease specific biomarkers in diverse clinical diseases (cancer, gliomas neurodegenerative etc.) was highlighted by several speakers with the strategies to have high yield and purity in the EV biofluid samples deemed critical for biomarker discovery. Size exclusion chromatography (SEC) was regularly highlighted as the most reliable EV isolation technique to enrich bioactive, bifunctional, intact, and high purity exosomes. The image below, from Mol et al, showing the higher functionality of SEC-EVs vs UC-EVs is an example of that.
Speakers also stressed the need to determine biophysical and biomolecular characteristics of nano-sized entities with high accuracy and precision. Overall, the need to have complementary technologies for particle analysis was expressed for quantification of diverse and heterogenous vesicle populations.